In 1642 Henrietta Maria accompanied her daughter, the Princess Mary, on her journey to the Netherlands in order to conclude preparations for Mary's marriage to Willem, who was the son of the Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik, and who later became Willem II of the Netherlands. Negotiations had been in progress already since 1640. This marriage provoked much controversy in the Netherlands as its principle aim was to secure for Charles I the support of the Netherlands in his struggle against Parliament. The States General, on the other hand, were determined to pursue a policy of neutrality in this conflict. These conflicting demands on his loyalties were the source of some embarrassment to Frederik Hendrik and it was with some relief that he eventuelly bade the English Queen farewell in February 1643.
In spite of the subject and title of the picture, Henrietta Maria is given a somewhat subordinate role in the composition. The picture is conceived rather as a group portrait of the officers of the Haagse Schutterij. The central figure is Captain van Couwenhoven and the other figures on the right, also wearing orange sashes, are the captains Swart, van der Faes and Guyl. Interestingly, this subject is treated in an almost exactly similar manner in a picture by Sybrand van Beest, now in the Haags Historisch Museum (inv. 4/1862).
Lot no 2145
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