Thursday, January 23, 2014

Royal Pets: The Companions of Frederica, Duchess of York, 1820

Frederica, Duchess of York
With a Dog and a Monkey
1820, Unknown Painter after Hüet-Villiers
Miniature: Watercolor on Ivory
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The second daughter of Frederick William II of Prussia, Frederica, the Princess Royal of Prussia, married the second son of King George III, Frederick, Duke of York. Their marriage was beset by scandal—particularly one involving the Duke’s mistress which caused him to have to resign his posh military post.

Owing in large part to the fact that her marriage was strained, Frederica preferred to be by herself and spent most of her life in seclusion in their country house in Surrey. Though not a fan of people, Frederica did enjoy the company of her animals and surrounded herself with many dogs, and, as one does, a monkey.

This gorgeous portrait of the Duchess of York is a miniature on ivory styled after a larger painting by Jean-François-Marie Hüet-Villiers. We see the Duchess looking rather dour, but lovely, contentedly sitting with a canine and a simian friend.

This miniature came into the Royal Collection in 1910.

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
via The Royal Collection Trust
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Click on Image to Enlarge

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