Scroll image to activate detail

Conjoined profile portraits of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, ‘The Young Pretender’ (1720-88) and Prince Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York (1725-1807).

The choice of a conjoined portrait was certainly deliberate. Echoing earlier Stuart royal portrait medals in Britain, for example one of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, its use emphasises the Jacobites’ legitimist claims.

The inscription reads ‘SACRA PROGENIES’ (‘Sacred Progeny’), referring to the perceived divine origins of the two Princes.

It is a rare portrait at a moment when there was a real sense of optimism that the two heirs, ‘Sacred Progeny’, might provide for the Stuart dynasty a realistic pathway back to the throne of the United Kingdom.