Queen Sunwon

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Queen Sunwon
Queen Regent of Joseon
Regency1834 – 1841
1849 – 1852
PredecessorQueen Jeongsun
SuccessorQueen Sinjeong
MonarchKing Heonjong of Joseon
King Cheoljong of Joseon
Grand Queen Dowager of Joseon
Tenure1834 – 1857
PredecessorGrand Queen Dowager Yesun
SuccessorGrand Queen Dowager Hyoyu
Queen Dowager of Joseon
PredecessorQueen Dowager Kim
SuccessorQueen Dowager Hyoyu
Queen Consort of Joseon
Tenure1802 – 1834
PredecessorQueen Hyoui
SuccessorQueen Hyohyeon
Born8 June 1789
Kingdom of Joseon
Died21 September 1857 (1857-09-22) (aged 68)
Yangsimhab, Changdeok Palace, Kingdom of Joseon
SpouseKing Sunjo of Joseon (m. 1802–1834)
  1. Crown Prince Hyomyeong
  2. Princess Myeongon
  3. Princess Bokon
  4. An unnamed prince
  5. Princess Deokon
  6. Cheoljong of Joseon (adopted)
Posthumous name
HouseAndong Kim
FatherKim Jo-sun
MotherInternal Princess Consort Cheongyang of the Cheongsong Sim clan

Queen Sunwon (순원왕후, 8 June 1789 – 21 September 1857), also known as Queen Dowager Myeonggyeong (명경왕대비) of the Andong Kim clan was the Queen of Joseon as the spouse of King Sunjo. She served as regent between 1834–1841 and 1849–1852.


The future Queen Sunwon was born into the Andong Kim clan on 8 June 1789. She was the first daughter and third child of Kim Jo-sun and his wife, Lady Sim of the Cheongsong Shim clan.

In 1802 at the age of 13, Lady Kim married King Sunjo and became the Queen of Joseon. The Queen bore 5 children with only one dying in infancy and one of them being the future Heonjong.

When her husband died in 1834, she became regent for her eight-year-old grandson, King Heonjong and the political power remained in the hands of her family, the Andong Kim clan until 1840, when it passed to the family of Heonjong's mother, Queen Sinjeong, the Pungyang Jo clan, following the Catholic persecution of 1839.

Prior to the death of her grandson in 1849 and becoming regent once again, the Queen had outlived her children as her daughter Princess Deokon recently died in 1844. The Queen eventually became regent again during King Cheoljong’s reign. With her influence, she had the king marry a daughter from her clan in 1851, who was known as Queen Cheorin, and ruled as regent until his fourth year of reign in 1852.

Queen Sunwon died in Changdeok Palace, on 21 September 1857. The Queen’s clan power later diminished when Queen Shinjeong adopted Internal Prince Heungseon’s son, Yi Myeong-bok, as her own to become the next king. The Queen Dowager stepped down and gave all power to Internal Prince Heungseon to help his son as regent; thus removing all power of the Andong Kim clan’s influence as well as the Pungyang Jo clan in the end.

Queen Sunwon is buried with her husband in Inreung located in Naegok-dong, Seocho District, Seoul.


  • 8 June 1789 - 1802: Lady Kim, daughter of Kim Jo-sun of the Andong Kim clan
  • 1802 - 18 December 1834: Her Royal Highness, the Queen Consort of Joseon (왕비; 王妃)
  • 18 December 1834 - 25 July 1849: Her Royal Highness, Royal Queen Dowager Myeonggyeong of Joseon (명경왕대비; 名胜王大妃)
  • 25 July 1849 - 21 September 1857: Her Royal Highness, Royal Grand Queen Dowager Myeonggyeong of Joseon (명경대왕대비; 名胜大王大妃)
  • Posthumous title: Queen Sunwon of Joseon (순원왕후; 顺元王后)


  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Saeng-hae (김생해, 金生海)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Geuk-hyo (김극효, 金克孝) (16 September 1542 - 3 February 1618)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Jeong of the Dongrae Jeong clan (본관: 동래정씨)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Sang-gwan (김상관, 金尙觀)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Gwang-chan (김광찬, 金光燦) (1597 - 24 February 1668)[1]
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Kim of the Yeonan Kim clan (본관: 연안 김씨)[2]
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Su-hang (김수항, 金壽恒) (1629 - 9 April 1689)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Na of the Anjeong Na clan (본관: 안정 나씨)[3]
  • Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Chang-jib (김창집, 金昌集) (1648 - 2 May 1722)
  • Great-Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Park (박씨)
  • Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Je-gyeom (김제겸, 金濟謙)[4]
  • Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Dal-haeng (김달행, 金達行)[5]
  • Grandfather
    • Kim Yi-jong (김이중, 金履中);[6] served as Prime Minister
  • Grandmother
    • Lady Shin of the Pyeongsan Shin clan (본관: 평산 신씨, 平山 申氏)
  • Father
  • Mother
    • Internal Princess Consort Cheongyang of the Cheongsong Sim clan (청양부부인 심씨, 靑陽府夫人 沈氏) (1766 - 1828)
      • Grandfather: Sim Geon-ji (심건지, 沈健之)[9]
      • Grandmother: Lady Yi of the Jeonju Yi clan (증 정경부인 전주 이씨); Sim Geon-ji’s second wife
  • Siblings
    • Older brother: Kim Yoo-geun (김유근, 金逌根) (March 1785 - July 1840)
    • Older brother: Kim Won-geun (김원근, 金元根) (1786 - 1832)
    • Younger brother: Kim Jwa-geun (김좌근, 金左根) (1797 - 1869)
      • Sister-in-law: Lady Yoon (윤씨, 尹氏)
        • Adoptive nephew: Kim Byeong-gi (김병기, 金炳冀) (1818 - 1875)
          • Adoptive niece-in-law: Lady Nam (남씨, 南氏); Nam Gu-sun’s daughter
          • Adoptive grand-nephew: Kim Yong-gyun (김용균, 金用均)
    • Younger sister: Lady Kim of the Andong Kim clan
      • Brother-in-law: Nam Gu-sun (남구순, 南久淳)
        • Nephew: Nam Byeong-cheol (남병철, 南秉哲) (1817 - 1863)
        • Niece: Lady Nam (남씨, 南氏)
    • Younger sister: Lady Kim of the Andong Kim clan
      • Brother-in-law: Yi Gyeom-jae (이겸재, 李謙在)
    • Younger sister: Lady Kim of the Andong Kim clan
      • Brother-in-law: Yi Geung-woo (이긍우, 李肯愚)
    • Younger brother: Kim Son-geun (김손근, 金遜根)
  • Husband
  • Issue

Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Internal Princess Consort Yeongga of the Andong Kim clan, the daughter of his uncle, Kim Sang-yong (김상용, 金尙容) and a half-niece of Kim Jang-saeng, is the mother of Queen Inseon; making him first cousins of the queen
  2. ^ She is a niece of Queen Inmok and the cousin of Princess Jeongmyeong. She is also a distant relative of Kim Ahn-ro
  3. ^ Her brother, Na Myeong-jwa (나명좌), married Song Jun-gil’s daughter and Queen Inhyeon’s maternal aunt, Lady Song of the Eunjin Song clan. Another sister married King Sejong’s 8th generation descendant, Yi Sa-myeong (이사명, 李師命) (1647 - 1689)
  4. ^ His younger sister, Lady Kim of the (new) Andong Kim clan (신 안동 김씨, 新 安東 金氏), became the wife of Min Chang-su (민창수, 閔昌洙); the nephew of Queen Inhyeon
  5. ^ His younger brother, Kim Won-haeng (김원행, 金元行) (14 February 1703 - 5 August 1772), became the great-great-grandfather of Queen Cheorin. His youngest brother, Kim Tan-haeng (김탄행, 金坦行) (1714 - 1774), became the great-great-grandfather of Queen Hyohyeon
  6. ^ He is a second cousin of Lady Hyegyeong
  7. ^ His nephew, Kim Mun-geun, eventually became the father of Queen Cheorin
  8. ^ His second nephew, Kim Jo-geun, eventually became the father of Queen Hyohyeon
  9. ^ Grandson of Sim Taek-hyeon (심택현, 沈宅賢) who was a descendant of Sim Ui-gyeom (Queen Insun’s younger brother), Sim Kang (Queen Insun’s father), and Sim On (Queen Soheon’s father)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Queen Hyoui
Queen consort of Korea
Succeeded by
Queen Hyohyeon