Grand empress dowager

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The title Grand Empress Dowager (also Grand Dowager Empress or Grand Empress Mother) (Chinese: 太皇太后; pinyin: tài huáng tài hòu; Japanese: たいこうたいごう) was given to the grandmother, or a woman from the same generation as the grandmother, of the Chinese, Korean and Japanese dynastic rulers. Some grand empress dowagers held regency within the beginning years of reign of an underage emperor. Some of the most prominent empress dowagers extended long periods of regency, to beyond after the ruler was mature enough to govern alone. This was seen as a source of political turmoil, according to the traditional views of Chinese historians.

Chinese grand empress dowagers[edit]

Han Dynasty[edit]

Cao Wei[edit]

Jin Dynasty (265–420)[edit]

Liu Song Dynasty[edit]

Chen Dynasty[edit]

Northern Wei Dynasty[edit]

Northern Qi Dynasty[edit]

Northern Zhou Dynasty[edit]

Tang Dynasty[edit]

Song Dynasty[edit]

  • Grand Empress Dowager Cao (1067-1085), during the reign of Emperor Shenzong
  • Grand Empress Dowager Gao Taotao (1085-1093), during the reign of Emperor Zhezong
  • Grand Empress Dowager Wu (1189-1197), during the reign of Emperor Guangzong
  • Grand Empress Dowager Xie (1194-1203), during the reign of Emperor Ningzong
  • Grand Empress Dowager Xie Daoqing (1274–1276), during the reign of Emperor Gong; the proceeding two emperors were her grandsons but they were fleeing from the Mongols

Liao Dynasty[edit]

  • Grand Empress Dowager Xiao Noujin (1055–1057), during the reign of Emperor Daozong
  • Grand Empress Dowager Xiao Tansi (1101–1118), during the reign of Emperor Tianzuo

Jin Dynasty (1115–1234)[edit]

  • Tangkuo, Grand Empress Dowager of Qingyuan Palace (1135-1136), during the reign of Emperor Xizong
  • Heshilie, Grand Empress Dowager of Mingde Palace (1135–1143), during the reign of Emperor Xizong

Yuan Dynasty[edit]

Ming Dynasty[edit]

  • Grand Empress Dowager Zhang (1435-1442), during the reign of the Zhengtong Emperor
  • Grand Empress Dowager Zhou (1487–1504), during the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor
  • Grand Empress Dowager Wang (1505-1518), during the reign of the Zhengde Emperor

Qing Dynasty[edit]

See also[edit]