|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|My Fair Princess character|
Ruby Lin as Ziwei (Princess Mingzhu)
|Created by||Chiung Yao|
|Portrayed by||Ruby Lin (1998, 1999)
Ma Yili (2003 series)
Hai Lu (2011 remake)
"Princess Bright Pearl"
|Family||House of Aisin Gioro (father)|
|Sworn sister||Xiaoyanzi (later sister-in-law)|
7 September 1742|
Jinan, Qing Empire
Xia Ziwei (Chinese: 夏紫薇; pinyin: Xià Zǐwēi; literally: "Myrtle"), is a fictional character from the Chinese television drama My Fair Princess. She was named after the crape myrtle, because that flower bloomed particularly beautifully when she was born.
Ziwei's single but talented mother, Xia Yuhe, had a romance several years ago with the Emperor Qianlong. The two never marry, and business matters soon require Qianlong to leave Jinan. After Qianlong departs Jinan, the city where Xia Yuhe resided, Yuhe gives birth to Ziwei out of wedlock. Of half Han Chinese descent and half Manchu descent, Ziwei is unaware of her special background until her mother is on her deathbed. Then, she reveals to Ziwei that she is of royal blood, and tells her to find her father. She gives Ziwei two items, a fan and a painting, both given to Yuhe as a present from Qianlong. Like her mother, Ziwei is multitalented. She can play the zither, sing, paint, write calligraphy, participate in literary discussions, and play chess, an unusual amount of talents for a female. More quiet and gentle than Xiaoyanzi, Ziwei is a fragile beauty.
Ziwei takes on this arduous task with her faithful servant, Jinsuo. However, after arriving in Beijing, she discovers how impossible it is for her to reach her father. She is not allowed to enter the Forbidden City, and cannot find an official who is willing to help her. She attempts to seek the assistance of royal officer Liang Da Ren, but her efforts do not succeed. Finally, she attends the Liang household's wedding, in hopes of getting in touch with Liang Da Ren. There, she meets Xiaoyanzi, her future sworn sister. She reveals her secrets to Xiaoyanzi, and sends Xiaoyanzi as her messenger to Qianlong.
After sending Xiaoyanzi as her messenger, Ziwei hears no word of Xiaoyanzi for weeks. She is extremely worried. When she finds Xiaoyanzi, now dubbed Huan Zhu Ge Ge, parading around the streets, she is heartbroken to find that Xiaoyanzi stole her title and father. She runs after Xiaoyanzi. Guards mistake her for an imposter, and nearly beat her to death. However, she is saved by Fu Erkang, the son of royal officer Fu Lun. Ziwei is nursed in the Fu household. Immediately, Erkang is captivated by her beauty, intelligence, and warm personality. His feelings for her causes other problems to arise. Ziwei later decides to give up her title to protect Xiaoyanzi, but she and Erkang cannot marry if she only has the status of a commoner. Thus, she enters the Forbidden City as a court maid so she can meet her father, Qianlong.Then she one day tells the truth and becomes the princess.
Relationship with Erkang
Fu Erkang met Ziwei during a march, when Xiaoyanzi was titled "Huan Zhu Ge Ge" or "Returned Pearl Princess". Ziwei was trying to get to Xiaoyanzi and confront her. Ziwei wound up getting beaten by the guards but was saved by Erkang who commanded them to stop. He later took her into his family household and falls in love with her intelligence, beauty, manners, and talents, she returned his feelings.
Their relationship starts off being complicated because of Erkang's position of a royal imperial guard whilst Ziwei is still a commoner. She tells him about her background and what happened with her and Xiaoyanzi. The both of their titles cause complication, so Erkang gets her into the Forbidden City as a courtmaid with Xiaoyanzi to try to improve her status. Yet, their relationship is still complicated because of the Emperor Qianlong's interest in Ziwei, since he isn't aware of her relations to him. Ziwei is very traditional with her display of affection towards her Erkang, so she rarely ever shows any, unless truly necessary. Throughout the series, they have fights and disagreements that has a lot of emotional issues. Erkang cares for Ziwei very much from when she's physically hurt to when she's emotionally. Since she can't fight, he gets hurt protecting her at times. Whenever one or the other gets hurt, they each feel very much pain. They marry in the end of Part II.
On her paternal side, Ziwei descends from the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, the reigning imperial family of China at the time. Through her father, Ziwei is also a descendant of Genghis Khan, Nurhaci, and other prominent figures in Manchu and Mongolian history.
The Xia family, the family of Ziwei's mother, originated in the city of Jinan in Shandong Province. The story mentions very little about the family, however, we do know that they were affluent members of the Confucian gentry class. During one of Qianlong's secret visits to Shandong, the Xia family saved him from the rain and gave him a place to stay. During his stay in Shandong, he met their daughter, Yuhe.
Although no members of this family have appeared in the story, with the exception of Ziwei and her mother, and several brief mentions of her maternal grandparents, an uncle and aunt of Ziwei seemed to be in contact with the Empress, although it is unknown whether or not either of them is surnamed Xia.