Princess Yuan of Lu

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Princess Yuan of Lu
Born Pre-211 BCE
Died 187 BCE
Burial Anling
Spouse Zhang Ao
Issue Zhang Yan (張嫣)
Zhang Yan (張偃)
House House of Liu (by birth)
House of Zhang (by marriage)
Father Emperor Gaozu of Han
Mother Empress Lü Zhi
Princess Yuan of Lu
Traditional Chinese 魯元公主
Simplified Chinese 鲁元公主

Princess Yuan of Lu, also called Princess Luyuan was a princess of the Han Dynasty. She was the eldest daughter of the dynasty's founder Emperor Gaozu and Empress Lü Zhi. She had one daughter who was married to her younger brother, Emperor Hui.


Princess Yuan's exact birth date is unknown, but her appearance in official records suggests that she was born before 211 BCE.[1] She was born before her father Liu Bang became a serious political contender, after which most of her early life was spent avoiding capture by enemy forces.[2]

In 204 BCE, during the Chu–Han Contention, the carriage of Princess Yuan and her brother Liu Ying was pursued by forces of the Chu State. Duke Teng, a member of the Xiahou family, ordered the two to leave the carriage and replaced them with two decoy travellers to allow them to escape.[3]

Liu Bang was proclaimed Emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty in 202 BCE. Princess Yuan's mother Empress Lü Zhi had little power after her husband became emperor and was powerless to prevent Emperor Gaozu from making plans to marry Princess Yuan, as the daughter of the legitimate wife, to a Xiongnu leader to prevent the nomads from causing trouble on the northern border.[4] She was married later, however, to Zhang Ao of Zhao, who succeeded his father as ruler in 204 BCE. The exact date of their marriage is unknown. Their daughter Zhang Yan was married to Princess Yuan's younger brother Liu Ying in 191 BCE, as part of their mother's attempts to control the imperial household.[5]

In 193 BCE, Liu Fei, Prince of Qi presented Chengyang County in Shandong to Princess Yuan and honoured her as Queen dowager.[6]


Princess Yuan is buried in the Han Royal Tomb group near Xianyang at Anling; alongside her brother, daughter and husband. Her tomb is larger than that of her husband.[7]



  1. ^ Book of Han: Annals of Emperor Gaozu, Volume 1, Upper, 相魯元公主,亦皆貴 
  2. ^ guanhuimin
  3. ^ Book of Han: Annals of Emperor Gaozu, Volume 1, Upper, 漢王道逢孝惠、魯元,載行。楚騎追漢王,漢王急,推墮二子。滕公下收載,遂得脫 
  4. ^ guanhuimin
  5. ^ guanhuimin
  6. ^ Book of Han, Volume 2: Annals of Emperor Hui, Volume 2, 二年冬十月,齐悼惠王来朝,献城阳郡以益鲁元公主邑,尊公主为太后 
  7. ^ guanhuimin

Cited works[edit]