Huijong of Goryeo

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Huijong of Goryeo
Revised RomanizationHuijong

Huijong of Goryeo (21 June 1181 – 31 August 1237, r. 1204–1211) was the 21st Monarch of the Goryeo dynasty of Korea and the only son of King Sinjong.

It is said of Huijong that if he were to have grown old he would have made a great King. When his father ascended to the throne and Huijong became Crown Prince, he rebelled against Choe Chungheon, the military leader of that time, and his younger brother Choe Chungsu. Huijong grew truly hostile towards them after Chungsu forced the Crown Princess to abdicate so that he could replace her with his daughter. During the rebellion, Huijong masterminded a plan to make Chungheon kill Chungsu, but Chungheon found out about it. Huijong was forced to beg for forgiveness and humble himself before one of his own subjects, which only made him hungrier for revenge.

When King Sinjong fell ill in 1204, he stepped down from the throne to let his son Huijong be King. Huijong, knowing that he had to lull Choe Chungheon into a false sense of security in order to be able to kill him, promoted him to Prime Minister of the State. This title was the one most often given out during the time of military rule to people such as Jeong Jung-bu, Yi Ui-min, and even Chungheon's father posthumously. Huijong also named Chungheon the Royal Protector, the greatest honor of the time, which was usually only given to relatives of the King. With these two titles, Choe Chungheon had political power nearly equal to that of the King himself. He used it to obliterate three rebellions, one led by his slave, another by Silla partisans, and one by his nephew Park Jinjae.

As Chungheon became secure in his new position, however, Huijong began to make preparations. Claiming illness, he tricked Choe Chungheon into coming alone into the palace without his usual host of guards. Once he arrived, Huijong attempted a coup d'état against him. Unfortunately, this failed and Choe Chungheon barely escaped with his life. Enraged, he exiled King Huijong. Chungheon had realized by this time that he held the 'power of the heavens' in his hand, and could crown and exile whomever he wished whenever he wished. King Gangjong was crowned in Huijong's place.


  • Father: King Sinjong of Goryeo (11 August 1144 – 15 February 1204) (고려 신종)
  • Mother: Queen Seonjeong of the Kaesong Wang clan (? – 1222) (선정왕후 왕씨)
    • Grandfather: Wang Eun, Prince Gangreung (? – 14 May 1146) (왕온 강릉공)


  1. Queen Seongpyeong of the Kaesong Wang clan (? – 1247) (성평왕후 왕씨)
    1. Wang Ji, Prince Changwon (1197 – 17 December 1262) (왕지 창원공)
    2. Wang Ui, Prince Siryeong (왕의 시령후)
    3. Prince Gyeongwon (? – 27 February 1279) (경원공)
    4. Prince Wonjeong (원정국사)
    5. Prince Chungmyeong (충명국사)
    6. Queen Anhye of the Kaesong Wang clan (? – 1 June 1232) (안혜왕후 왕씨)
    7. Princess Yeongchang (영창공주)
    8. Princess Deokchang (덕창궁주)
    9. Princess Gasun (가순궁주)
    10. Princess Jeonghui (정희궁주)

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  • 희종 (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia.
Huijong of Goryeo
Born: 21 June 1181 Died: 31 August 1237
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Goryeo
Succeeded by