William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester, 1775 (c)

Thomas Gainsborough

 
William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester, 1775 (c)
4 0 c m
 
27cm
actual image size: 19cm x 32cm

HRH William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1743-1805), 1775 (c).

Oil on canvas (unfinished) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88), 1775 (c).

The younger brother of King George III, Prince William Henry was created Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and Earl of Connaught in 1764. He wanted to pursue an active military career, but neither his physical stamina nor his mental capacity were sufficient to carry a commander's position on active service. Nevertheless, he became Colonel of the 13th Regiment of Foot in 1766, and of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards in 1767. He was promoted lieutenant-general and became Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards in 1770.

The Prince is depicted in the uniform of Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, wearing the ribbon and star of the Order of the Garter. It is the earliest known portrait of a member of the Royal Family in the uniform of colonel of a regiment. Unfinished, the painting remained in the artist's studio until his death. It was subsequently purchased by the Prince Regent and given to Princess Sophia of Gloucester, eldest daughter of the sitter, in 1816.

Image Details

Negative No.
 
2198
Accession No.
 
NAM. 1984-04-167-1

© National Army Museum Copyright

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