|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2009)|
|Prince Rong of the First Rank
|1765 - 1766|
|Prince Rongchun of the First Rank
|House||House of Aisin-Gioro|
|Mother||Noble Consort Yu|
23 March 1741|
|Died||16 April 1766
Yongqi was studious and diligent from a young age. Every day, of all the princes, he was the earliest to reach the palace study to attend classes. He had a close relationship with his younger half-brother Yongyan (the future Jiaqing Emperor). Yongqi was talented - he was fluent in the Manchu and Mongol languages, he was versed in astronomy, geography and calendrical calculation. One of his works was the Jiaotong Tenggao (蕉桐幐稿).
Yongqi was versed in poetry, painting, and calligraphy. He was also skilled in horse-riding and mounted archery. His talents earned him the favour of his father, the Qianlong Emperor. In 1763 a fire broke out in the Old Summer Palace, and Yongqi carried his father on his back and brought him to safety. Two years later the Qianlong Emperor conferred Yongqi the title of "Prince Rong of the First Rank" (榮親王), making Yongqi the first of Qianlong's sons to officially receive a princely title. Besides the Chinese character "Rong" (榮) in the title literally means "glory" or "honour", which showed that the Qianlong Emperor had high hopes for Yongqi.
Yongqi died in 1766 after suffering from bone tuberculosis for several months (he was already ill when he received his princely title). He was granted the posthumous name "Chun" (純; "pure"), so his full posthumous title was extended to "Prince Rongchun of the First Rank" (榮純親王).
Yongqi was buried together with the Qianlong Emperor's eldest son Yonghuang (永璜; 1728 - 1750), who also died in his 20s. The tomb, sometimes referred to as the "Crown Prince Tomb" (太子陵), is located in northern part of eastern Beijing near Bulaotun Town (不老屯鎮). In 1958 the tomb was demolished to make way for the construction of the Miyun Reservoir (密雲水庫). Its contents were carefully excavated and transferred to the Capital Museum.
Yongqi and his descendants were merged under the Bordered Red Banner of the Eight Banners. Yongqi's house later became the residence of Yixuan in the later part of the Qing Dynasty. A Prince Rong Residence is located in the southwest of present-day Beijing at Xuanwu Gate (宣武門) on the west side of a Taiping Lake (太平湖).
Yongqi's mother was not one of the highly ranked consorts of the Qianlong Emperor, but yet Yongqi was instated as a Prince of the First Rank, and there were signs that Qianlong had considered designating Yongqi as his heir. Another two princes, Yonglian and Yongcong, became Princes of the First Rank because they were born to Empress Xiaoxianchun. As such it was believed that the Qianlong Emperor truly favoured and loved Yongqi.
Yongqi was the most outstanding of the Qianlong Emperor's sons and the best choice to succeed his father, but it was unfortunate that he died at a young age of 25. In 1793 when the Qianlong Emperor met British envoy George Macartney he told the latter that he regarded Yongqi highly because Yongqi was gifted in many aspects but it was a pity that he died early.
|Ancestors of Yongqi (prince)|
- Father: Qianlong Emperor
- Mother: Noble Consort Yu (愉貴妃; 15 June 1714 - 9 July 1792), from the Keliyete (珂里葉特) clan. She was the daughter of E'erjitu (額爾吉圖), an imperial examination examiner.
- Lady Silin-Gioro (西林覺羅氏), daughter of Ebi (鄂弼), a viceroy (總督). She was also the granddaughter of Ortai. She bore Yongqi his sixth son.
- Lady Socolo (綽羅氏), daughter of Left Imperial Adviser (左都御史) Guanbao (觀保). She bore Yongqi his eldest, third, fourth and fifth sons.
- Lady Hu (胡氏), daughter of Hu Cunzhu (胡存柱). She bore Yongqi his second son and daughter.
- Eldest son (1759), unnamed, died before turning a month old.
- Second son (1760), unnamed, died on the same day he was born.
- Third son (1761 - 1763), unnamed, died at the age of two.
- Fourth son (1764), unnamed, Mianyi's twin brother, died before turning two months old.
- Mianyi (綿億; 1764 - 1815), Yongqi's fifth son, twin brother of Yongqi's fourth son, titled "Prince Rongke of the First Rank" (榮恪郡王).
- Sixth son (1765), unnamed, died before turning a month old.
- Daughter, birth and death dates unknown, personal name unknown, granted the title of a xianjun (縣君), married a Mongol prince Wangqinbanba'er (旺親班巴爾) in 1784.
- Yihui (奕繪; d. 1838), Mianyi's eldest son, inherited the title of a beile in 1815.
- Zaijun (載鈞; d. 1857), Yihui's eldest son, inherited the beile title in 1838.
- Zaizhao (載釗; d. 1881), Yihui's second son, granted the title of "General of the First Class Who Assists the Nation" (一等輔國將軍) in 1844. He was posthumously granted the title of "Duke Who Guards the Nation" (鎮國公).
- Pumei (溥楣), Zaizhao's eldest son, adopted by Zaijun. He inherited the title of "Duke Who Guards the Nation" in 1857, but was stripped off his title in 1866.
- Puyun (溥芸; 1850 - 1902), Zaizhao's third son, inherited the title of "Duke Who Guards the Nation" in 1866.
- Puchang (溥菖; b. 1880), Zaizhao's ninth son, inherited the title of "General Who Serves the Nation" (奉國將軍) in 1881.
- Zaichu (載初), Yihui's fourth son, granted the title of "General Who Assists the Nation" (輔國將軍) in 1857, stripped of his title in 1862.
- Jin Guangping (Hengxu), sixth generation descendant, scholar of the Jurchen and Khitan languages.
Yongqi is fictionalised as a character in Chiung Yao's novels, which were later adapted into the three-season television series Princess Pearl. Alec Su portrayed Yongqi in the first two seasons while Leo Ku played Yongqi in the third season.