Johan Zoffany and the King’s New Clothes

Kate Retford explains how the artist Johan Zoffany found ways to promote a fresh image of royalty that endeared him to George III and Queen Charlotte – a relationship he subsequently destroyed.

George III, Queen Charlotte and their Six Eldest Children by Zoffany, 1770, dpeicts the royal family in Van Dyckian attire. The Royal Collection, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth IIWhen George III succeeded to the throne on October 25th, 1760 an inevitable flurry of activity followed. In particular the search for a suitable consort was stepped up, putting an end once and for all to the 22-year-old George’s passion for Lady Sarah Lennox. Various princesses were named and dismissed before Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was settled upon.

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