Empress Xiaoquancheng

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Empress Xiaoquancheng
Empress Consort of the Qing dynasty
Tenure 18 November 1834 – 13 February 1840
Born (1808-03-24)24 March 1808
Suzhou, China
Died 13 February 1840(1840-02-13) (aged 31)
Palace of Gathering Essence, Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Burial 20 November 1840
Muling Mausoleum, Western Qing tombs, China
Spouse Daoguang Emperor
Issue Gurun Princess Duanshun
Gurun Princess Shou'an
Yizhu, Xianfeng Emperor
Father Yiling
Empress Xiaoquancheng
Chinese name
Chinese 孝全成皇后
Lady Niohuru
Traditional Chinese 鈕祜祿氏
Simplified Chinese 钮祜禄氏
Manchu name
Manchu script ᡥᡳᠶᠣᠣᡧᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᡤᡝᠮᡠᠩᡤᡝ ᡧᠠᠩᡤᠠᠨ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡥᡝᠣ
Romanization hiyoošungga gemungge šangga hūwangheo

Empress Xiaoquancheng (24 March 1808 – 13 February 1840) was the third official spouse and second Empress Consort[1] of the Daoguang Emperor of the Qing dynasty. She was the birth mother of the Daoguang Emperor's fourth son and successor, the Xianfeng Emperor.

Family background[edit]

Empress Xiaoquancheng was born in the Manchu Niohuru clan in 1808 during the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor. Her personal name is unknown. Her family was originally under the Plain Red Banner but was later moved to the Bordered Yellow Banner.[citation needed] Her great-grandfather, Chengde (成德), served as a general guarding Tibet during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. Her grandfather, Mukedengbu (穆克登布), was also a general. Her father, Yiling (頤齡; died before 1850), served as a general in Suzhou and was posthumously honoured as a third class cheng'en duke.

As the Daoguang Emperor's concubine[edit]

Lady Niohuru spent her youth in Suzhou. In 1820, the Jiaqing Emperor died and was succeeded by his son, the Daoguang Emperor. A year later, during the auditions for the Daoguang Emperor's consorts, Lady Niohuru was shortlisted as a candidate. At the age of 13, she entered the Forbidden City and was given the rank of Noble Lady under the title "Noble Lady Quan" (全貴人). She was promoted to "Imperial Concubine Quan" (全嬪) a year later. On 24 March 1823, she was further promoted to "Consort Quan" (全妃).

Two years later, on 8 April 1825, Lady Niohuru gave birth to the Daoguang Emperor's third daughter, Gurun Princess Duanshun (端順固倫公主; 8 April 1825 – 27 December 1835). The emperor was so delighted[citation needed] that on 30 May, he promoted her to "Noble Consort Quan" (全貴妃).

In the following summer, Lady Niohuru became pregnant a second time, and on 12 May 1826 she gave birth to the Daoguang Emperor's fourth daughter, Gurun Princess Shou'an (壽安固倫公主; 12 May 1826 – 23 April 1860).

On 17 July 1831, Lady Niohuru gave birth to the Daoguang Emperor's fourth son, Yizhu. Reports on her pregnancy in 1831 suggest that the bulk of the medical attention she received was during the last five weeks, when a physician and a midwife were in constant attendance to await the onset of labour.

On 16 June 1833, the Daoguang Emperor's second empress, Empress Xiaoshencheng, died, and Lady Niohuru was placed in charge of the emperor's harem, making her the de facto empress. On 28 September 1833, during the Mid Autumn Festival, Lady Niohuru was promoted to "Imperial Noble Consort Quan" (全皇貴妃) and became the highest ranked among all the Daoguang Emperor's consorts.

As Empress[edit]

On 18 November 1834, at the age of 26, Lady Niuhuru was officially instated as Empress. She was the Daoguang Emperor's third primary spouse and his second empress.

On 27 December 1835, Lady Niohuru's first daughter, Gurun Princess Duanshun, died prematurely at the age of 10.


Lady Niohuru died on 13 February 1840 in the Palace of Gathering Essence in the Forbidden City. Her exact cause of death was not recorded in history. Six days after her death, on 19 February 1840, she was granted the posthumous title "Empress Xiaoquan" (孝全皇后). Nine months later, on 20 November 1840, she was interred in the Muling Mausoleum at the Western Qing tombs.

Lady Niohuru's son, Yizhu, was the Daoguang Emperor's oldest surviving son when the emperor died in 1850. He succeeded his father and was enthroned as the Xianfeng Emperor. After his coronation, he honoured his mother with the posthumous title Empress Xiaoquancijingkuanrenduanque'anhuichengminfutiandushengcheng (孝全慈敬寬仁端愨安惠誠敏符天篤聖成皇后), short form Empress Xiaoquancheng.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Daoguang Emperor had four empresses in total. His first primary consort died long before his enthronement and was posthumously honoured as Empress Xiaomucheng. His second primary consort, Empress Xiaoshencheng, became the Empress when he ascended the throne in 1821. Empress Xiaoquancheng was the Daoguang Emperor's third primary consort and she became Empress after Empress Xiaoshencheng died in 1833. After Empress Xiaoquancheng's death, the Daoguang Emperor did not promote any of his other consorts to Empress. Instead, he appointed one of his consorts to be in charge of the others. This consort was posthumously promoted to Empress and honoured as Empress Xiaojingcheng.


  • Rawski, Evelyn S. (1998). The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions (Reprint ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 052092679X. 
  • Wan, Yi; Shuqing, Wang; Yanzhen, Lu; Scott, Rosemary E. (1988). Daily Life in the Forbidden City: The Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912 (Illustrated ed.). Viking. ISBN 0670811645. 
  • Zhao, Erxun (1928). Draft History of Qing (Qing Shi Gao) (in Chinese). 
Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Empress Xiaoshencheng
Empress of China
Succeeded by
Empress Xiaozhenxian