Life of princess in the frame at gallery

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AN exhibition exploring the life of one of Britain’s most famous monarchs has opened at the National 
Portrait Gallery.

Minette – The Life and Letters of a Stuart Princess, which opens today, explores the life of Henriette Anne Stuart (1644-1670), the youngest sister of King Charles II.

Featuring a full-length portrait by the French artist Jean Nocret (1615-1672), as well as head types and letters exchanged between Henriette Anne and her brother, organisers said the exhibition would illuminate the Princess’ dramatic life.

Famed for her charming nature and smuggled from England at the age of two, Henriette Anne was brought up at the French court where she married Philippe, Duke of Orléans, the brother of Louis XIV.

Kate Gillespie, senior curator at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: “Henriette Anne, also the great-granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots, had an amazing life and this new exhibition will really offer an insight into that.

“She was a great character – charming, witty, a bit of a flirt, but also very shrewd. And I think these features of her personality really come through in Nocret’s portrait.”