Princess Sophia

Studio of Cosway


Born in 1777, Princess Sophia was the twelfth child of George III and Queen Charlotte. Together with her sisters, she was raised in the strict and cloistered environment of Windsor Castle though she was well-educated. The King and Queen were adverse to marriage for their daughters so Sophia never wed though she was said to have had a liaison with one of the King’s equerries that led to her giving birth to an illegitimate son. Upon the death of her parents, Princess Sophia moved to an apartment at Kensington Palace where she lived quietly alongside her widowed sister-in-law, the Duchess of Kent, and her infant niece, the future Queen Victoria. In later life, Sophia’s eyesight failed and she became totally blind. She died in 1848; it is said that her ghost still haunts Kensington Palace.

Set against a cloudy blue sky, Princess Sophia is shown wearing a traditional white dress with a frilled collar and a sashed waist, her powdered hair dressed with a blue bandeau. The portrait is set in the original papier-mâché frame with convex glass, a decorative surround and a large brass crown.

The portrait is a variant of the original Cosway portrait dated 1792 that is housed in the Royal Collection. Cosway is known to have produced a number of copies and variants of this portrait.


Item Ref. 7315

Size: framed, 150 x 134mm