Hu Shanxiang

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Empress Gongrangzhang, personal name Hu Shanxiang (died 1443), was a Chinese Empress consort of the Ming Dynasty, married to the Xuande Emperor.

Empress Hu, or Chu, came from Jining in Shandong. Her father, Hu Rong, was a company commander. In 1417, she became the primary consort of the crown prince. Three years later, they had a daughter: Princess Shunde.

Upon the succession of Xuande to the throne in 1425, she became his empress. Empress Hu was described as weak and sickly: the Emperor did not like her for not having a son, and when she at one occasion advised him not to indulge in his love of travel, her resented her for meddling in affairs that did not concern her.[1]

Xuande preferred the beautiful and intelligent Consort Sun, and when she gave birth to a son in 1427, he named this son Crown prince. In the spring of 1428, the Emperor had Empress Hu deposed from her position in favor of the mother of the crown prince, sent to a separate palace and given a title previously given to deposed empresses who were forced to become nuns, though this was not demanded of Hu.[2] Hu was regarded with sympathy and her mother-in-law, the Empress Dowager, demonstrated her sympathy and friendship by often inviting her and giving her the place of an empress at banquets, even when her successor, Empress Sun was present.[3] When the empress dowager died in 1442, Hu lost an important ally at court.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lily Xiao Hong Lee, Sue Wiles: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Volume II: Tang Through Ming 618 - 1644
  2. ^ Lily Xiao Hong Lee, Sue Wiles: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Volume II: Tang Through Ming 618 - 1644
  3. ^ Lily Xiao Hong Lee, Sue Wiles: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Volume II: Tang Through Ming 618 - 1644
Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Empress Chengxiaozhao
Empress of China
1425–1428
Succeeded by
Empress Xiaogongzhang