Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Empress Xiaozhuangwen
Imperial Portrait of Empress Xiao Zhuang Wen.jpg
Empress Consort of the Qing Dynasty
Reign (Title granted posthumously)
Predecessor Empress Xiaoduanwen
Successor Borjigit, Demoted Empress
Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty
Reign 1643–1662
Successor Empress Xiaohuizhang
Grand Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty
Reign 1662–1688
Successor Empress Xiaoqinxian
Born (1613-03-28)28 March 1613
Died 27 January 1688(1688-01-27) (aged 74)
Beijing, China
Burial Zhaoling Mausoleum, Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Spouse Hong Taiji
Issue Kurun Princess Yongmu
Kurun Princess Shuhui
Kurun Princess Duanxian
Full name
Borjigit Bumbutai
Posthumous name
Empress Xiaozhuang Renxuan Chengxian Gongyi Zhide Chunhui Yitian Qisheng Wen
House House of Borjigit (by birth)
House of Aisin-Gioro (by marriage)
Father Jaisang
Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang
Traditional Chinese 孝莊太后
Simplified Chinese 孝庄太后
Empress Xiaozhuangwen
Traditional Chinese 孝莊文皇后
Simplified Chinese 孝庄文皇后

Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, earlier known as Empress Xiaozhuangwen (Manchu: ᡥᡳᠶᠣᠣᡧᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᠠᠮᠪᠠᠯᡳᠩᡤᡡ ᡤᡝᠩᡤᡳᠶᡝᠨ ᡧᡠ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡥᡝᠣ Hiyoošungga Ambalinggū Genggiyenšu Hūwanghu; 28 March 1613 – 27 January 1688), was a concubine of the Qing Dynasty ruler Hong Taiji. She was declared his spouse officially although she was not his first wife, becoming empress in 1636. Her life after becoming the empress dowager is more well known historically . She was the mother of Hong Taiji's successor, the Shunzhi Emperor, and grandmother of Shunzhi's successor, Kangxi Emperor. She wielded significant influence in the Qing imperial court during the reign of her son and especially, during that of her grandson. Known for her wisdom and political insight, Empress Xiaozhuangwen is a respected figure in the history of the Qing Dynasty.


File:Consort Zhuang in court costume (detail).jpg
Detail of a court portrait of Bumbutai painted sometime between 1636 and 1643, when she was Hong Taiji's "Consort Zhuang."
Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang

Empress Xiaozhuangwen was born of the Mongol Borjigit clan. Her father Jaisang (寨桑), a beile of the Khorchin Mongols, was a descendant of Hasar, a younger brother of Genghis Khan. Although her personal name was "Bumbutai" (Manchu: ᠪᡠᠮᠪᡠᡨᠠᡳ). Bumbutai became Hong Taiji's concubine in 1625 when she was 12 years old. She bore Hong Taiji three daughters and a son, Fulin. Her aunt Jere was Hong Taiji's empress consort, and she also became an empress dowager after Hong Taiji's death.

Dorgon became regent and was in charge of making decisions for the Shunzhi Emperor because the latter was still young. The relationship between Dorgon and the Shunzhi Emperor has been a topic for discussion among historians. When Dorgon died in 1650, Shunzhi posthumously stripped him off his titles and had Dorgon's corpse mutilated. It is believed, but not historically verified, that Bumbutai married Dorgon after Hong Taiji's death, since levirate marriage was a common practice among Mongols then. This was considered to be a reason as to why Dorgon and his brother Dodo were posthumously stripped off their titles of nobility.

Bumbutai kept a low profile during the reign of her son, the Shunzhi Emperor, and had little interference in politics. Shunzhi died in 1661 and was succeeded by his son Xuanye, who became known as the Kangxi Emperor. Bumbutai advised her grandson to learn from the Four Regents (appointed by the Shunzhi Emperor before his death to aid the Kangxi Emperor). She also took charge of the Kangxi Emperor's upbringing after the death of the emperor's mother.

When the Kangxi Emperor came to of age and officially took personal control of the government in 1667, he faced the threat of the growing influence of Oboi, one of the Four Regents. Two years later, Bumbutai assisted her grandson in making plans to get rid of Oboi — Oboi was lured into a trap, placed under arrest, and stripped of his power.

Throughout her life, Bumbutai disliked living in the palace, despite its luxurious conditions. She also refused to hold any birthday celebrations as she felt that it would be costly.

When Bumbutai fell sick in the autumn of 1687, the Kangxi Emperor personally took care of his grandmother.[1] Bumbutai died a year later in 1688 and was interred in the Zhaoling Mausoleum in Shenyang, Liaoning.


  • Great-great-grandfather: Bodedalai (博地達賚), beile.
  • Great-grandfather: Namusai (納穆塞), beile.
  • Grandfather: Manggusi (莽古斯), beile, posthumously honoured as "Prince Fu of the First Rank" (福親王).
  • Grandmother: name unknown, created "Princess Fu of the First Rank" by Hong Taiji and known as "The Senior Princess Dowager of Khorchin"(科爾沁大妃).
  • Father: Jaisang (寨桑), beile, posthumously honoured as "Prince Zhong of the First Rank" (忠親王).
  • Mother: Boli (博禮), created "Princess Xian, Princess Zhong of the First Rank" (忠親王賢妃) by Hong Taiji and known as "The Junior Princess Dowager of Khorchin"(科爾沁次妃).
  • Aunt: Empress Xiaoduanwen, Jaisang's full sister, Empress Consort of Hong Taiji.
  • Siblings:
    • Wukeshan (吳克善), older brother.
    • Harjol, older sister, Hong Taiji's concubine.
  • Spouse: Hong Taiji, married in 1625.
  • Children:
    • Fulin, succeeded Hong Taiji as the Shunzhi Emperor in 1643.
    • Yatu, Kurun Princess Yongmu (固伦雍穆公主雅图; 1629–1678)
    • Atu, Kurun Princess Shuhui (固伦淑慧公主阿图; 1632–1700)
    • Kurun Princess Duanxian (固伦端献公主; 1633–1648)


Titles held

  • 28 March 1613 – 1625: Lady Borjigit Bumubutai (博爾濟吉特氏)
  • 1625–1636: Side Chamber Consort (側室福晉)
  • 1636–1646: Consort Zhuang of Yongfu Palace (永福宫莊妃)
  • 1646–1661: Holy Mother Empress Dowager (聖母皇太后)
  • 1661 – 29 January 1688: Grand Empress Dowager (太皇太后)

Modern references


  • Xiaozhuang Mishi (孝莊秘史), a novel about Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, written by Yang Haiwei (楊海薇).
  • Shaonian Tianzi (少年天子), a novel about the Shunzhi Emperor, written by Ling Li.


  • The Rise and Fall of Qing Dynasty, a long-running Hong Kong television series about the history of the Qing Dynasty. Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang appears only in the first season, aired in 1987, in which she is portrayed by Nora Miao.
  • Zhuangfei Yishi (莊妃軼事), a 1989 Chinese television series about Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, starring Bo Han (柏寒).
  • Yidai Huanghou Dayu'er (一代皇后大玉兒), a 1992 Taiwanese television series about Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, starring Angela Pan.
  • Xinyue Gege (新月格格), a 1995 Chinese romantic television series based on a novel by Chiung Yao. Leanne Liu played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Princess Huai-yu (懷玉公主), a 2000 Taiwanese romantic television series. Leanne Liu played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Kangxi Dynasty, a 2001 Chinese television series about the Kangxi Emperor. Siqin Gaowa played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Shaonian Tianzi (少年天子), a 2002 Chinese television series based on Ling Li's novel, starring Pan Hong as Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • The Affaire in the Swing Age, a 2003 Chinese television series depicting the events in the transition of the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Niu Li played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, who was known as Consort Zhuang in the series.
  • Xiaozhuang Mishi, a 2003 Chinese television series about Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, starring Ning Jing.
  • Huang Taizi Mishi, a 2004 Chinese television series about Yinreng. Lü Zhong played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Sheizhu Chenfu (誰主沉浮), a 2005 Chinese television series depicting the events in the transition of the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Liu Xiaoqing played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Yanhua Sanyue (煙花三月), a 2005 Chinese television series about Nalan Rongruo. Kuei Ya-lei played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Shaonian Kangxi (少年康熙), a 2005 Chinese television series about Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang and the young Kangxi Emperor, starring Pan Hong and Deng Chao.
  • Secret History of Kangxi, a 2006 Chinese television series about the Kangxi Emperor. Wu Qianqian played Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • Da Qing Fengyun, a 2006 Chinese television series based on the romance between Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang and Dorgon. Xu Qing played Xiaozhuang and Zhang Fengyi played Dorgon.
  • The Life and Times of a Sentinel, a 2011 Hong Kong historical fiction television series. Ching Hor-wai played Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.
  • In Love With Power, a 2012 Chinese television series dramatizing the life of Empress Dowager Xiaozhung during her early years, as consort to Hong Taiji and as mother to the Shunzhi Emperor.

See also


  1. Bennet Peterson. p. 328. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Draft history of the Qing dynasty. Princess files 《清史稿·公主表》.


  • Mote, F.W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800. Harvard University Press. pp. 49–52. ISBN 0-674-01212-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hummel, Arthur William, ed. Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644–1912). 2 vols. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1943.
  • Rawski, Evelyn Sakakida. The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Daily life in the Forbidden City, Wan Yi, Wang Shuqing, Lu Yanzhen. ISBN 0-670-81164-5.
  • Draft history of the Qing dynasty. 《清史稿》卷二百十四.列傳一.后妃傳.太宗孝莊文皇后.


Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang
Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Empress Xiaoduanwen
Empress Dowager of China
1646 – January 27, 1688
Succeeded by
Empress Xiaokangzhang