This is a fresh assessment of the importance of portraiture in the image-making of monarchs from Richard II to the present day. This book covers a far wider timescale than any previous studies of the subject, and is the first to focus on royal portraiture from within the Royal Collection. Starting with the pattern-book-style royal portraits of the early kings, it covers works by Holbein, Van Dyck, Zoffany, Landseer and Freud, among many others. Each of the six chapters opens with a quotation, and is structured around specific key images which are discussed in particular detail. The final chapter investigates the new role of portraiture in the age of photography and global media coverage. The impact of the finished image within its specific intended location will be explored, alongside the use of portraits through the ages to promote the public (and private) face of the monarch. New groupings of major portraits are presented alongside little-known works to highlight the evolving role of royal portraiture, and its continuing significance today.