Sigh of His Highness

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Sigh of His Highness
Sigh of His Highness.jpg
DVD cover art
Genre Historical drama
Written by Yang Xiaoxiong
Gu Yi
Liu Shaoling
Directed by Li Wenlong
Presented by Shu Zhan
Li Ming
Zhao Qi
Guo Changjian
Starring Chen Baoguo
Yuan Li
Wang Yan
Wang Gang
Qin Yan
Song Jia
Luo Xiangjin
Theme music composer Anson Hu
Liang Jijue
Tan Yizhe
Opening theme 1. Zang Yingxiong (葬英雄) performed by Anson Hu
2. Si Da Jie Kong (四大皆空) performed by Anthony Wong (Hong Kong version)
Ending theme Chuntian (春天) performed by Leo Ku
Composer(s) Jiang Jianyi
Zhou Zhihua
Country of origin China
Original language(s) Mandarin
No. of episodes 40
Production
Executive producer(s) Chen Wenguang
Chen Tanwen
Ling Li
Zhong Lifang
Zou Xiaoli
Wang Manlin
Producer(s) Gao Zhiqiang
Yang Ziqing
Chen Yuguang
Jing Shuiqing
Zhang Huiling
Han Xueyi
Zhao Hua
Location(s) China
Cinematography Bu Xiangyi
Kong Jinsheng
Editor(s) Yuan Fei
Dai Tao
Zhu Jun
Wang Shen
Running time 45 minutes per episode
Production company(s) 1. Fujian Radio Film and TV Group
2. Shanghai Soft-Trek Culture Media
3. Beijing Galloping Horse Film & TV Production
4. Wuzhou Media Centre
5. Anhui TV
Distributor Shanghai Soft-Trek Culture Media
Hong Shimei
Sun Xiaodong
Qian Li
Zhang Xian
Release
Original network Sichuan TV (China)
TVB Jade (Hong Kong)
First shown in 26 March 2006 (China)
26 April 2007 - 16 October 2008 (Hong Kong)
Sigh of His Highness
Traditional Chinese 一生為奴
Simplified Chinese 一生为奴
Literal meaning Slave for a Lifetime
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 恭親王傳奇
Simplified Chinese 恭亲王传奇
Literal meaning The Legend of Prince Gong

Sigh of His Highness is a Chinese historical television series based on the life of Prince Gong, an influential Manchu prince and statesman of the late Qing dynasty. The series was directed by Li Wenlong and starred Chen Baoguo as Prince Gong. It was first broadcast on Sichuan TV in China in 2006.

Plot[edit]

The series is set in 19th-century China under the Manchu-led Qing dynasty. Prince Gong is a younger half-brother of the Xianfeng Emperor, but their relationship is somewhat strained because they previously competed for the succession to their father's throne. In 1860, during the Second Opium War, when the Anglo-French forces close in on Beijing, the Xianfeng Emperor flees to the Chengde Summer Palace in Hebei and orders Prince Gong to stay behind in the capital, Beijing, to make peace with the enemy. After enduring humiliation and manoeuvring his way through complex negotiations, Prince Gong signs the Convention of Beijing on behalf of the Qing Empire with the British, French and Russians. With this achievement, he not only improves his political standing in the imperial court, but also earns the respect of the foreigners.

The following year, the Xianfeng Emperor dies in Chengde. His young son, Zaichun, succeeds him as the Tongzhi Emperor. Before his death, the Xianfeng Emperor had appointed the senior minister Sushun and seven others to serve as regents for his son until he is old enough to rule on his own. In November 1861, with support from the Empress Dowagers Cixi and Ci'an, Prince Gong launches the Xinyou Coup and succeeds in seizing power from Sushun and the regents. In the next four years, Prince Gong reaches the pinnacle of his political career as he is appointed Prince-Regent and placed in charge of important state and military affairs, including control over the Grand Council. He also has the opportunity to take the throne but refrains from doing so. He spearheads the Self-Strengthening Movement and introduces new policies in his attempts to modernise China and maintain friendly relations with other countries.

Over the years, however, Prince Gong's relationship with Empress Dowager Cixi deteriorates as she becomes more power-hungry and he starts distancing himself from her. At the same time, the Empress Dowager's position in the imperial court gradually becomes more prominent, especially after the death of her son, the Tongzhi Emperor. The Tongzhi Emperor's cousin Zaitian, who succeeds him as the Guangxu Emperor, becomes a puppet ruler under Empress Dowager Cixi's control. Over time, Empress Dowager Cixi consolidates power in her hands and becomes the sole de facto ruler when her co-regent, Empress Dowager Ci'an, dies under mysterious circumstances. Prince Gong's standing in the imperial court declines as Empress Dowager Cixi increasingly distrusts him and gradually reduces his power by removing him from key appointments.

In 1885, Prince Gong falls from grace after shouldering the blame for the Grand Council's indecisiveness on whether to fight or make peace during the Sino-French War. As a consequence, Empress Dowager Cixi relieves him from his appointments and forces him to retire. In 1894, following the outbreak of the First Sino-Japanese War, Prince Gong returns to the imperial court to handle the crisis. However, despite his efforts, he fails to prevent another Qing defeat at the hands of the Japanese. He eventually dies of illness four years later.

Cast[edit]

Broadcasts in other regions[edit]

Hong Kong's TVB Jade first aired the series on weekday nights from 26 April 2007. Starting on 12 May, the series was broadcast on weekend afternoons instead. On 24 June, TVB stopped airing the series and the remaining episodes were broadcast from 1 September to 16 October 2008 on weekday nights.

External links[edit]