Empress Xiaoyichun

Empress Xiaoyichun
Empress Consort of the Qing dynasty
Tenure Empress title granted posthumously
Predecessor The Step Empress
Successor Empress Xiaoshurui
Burial 19 November 1775
Yuling Mausoleum, Eastern Qing tombs, China
Spouse Qianlong Emperor
Issue Gurun Princess Hejing
Heshuo Princess Heke
Yongyan, Prince Jia
Qianlong Emperor's 16th son
Posthumous name
Empress Xiaoyi Gongshun Kangyu Ciren Duanke Minzhe Yitian Yusheng Chun
Father Wei Qingtai
Empress Xiaoyichun
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 孝儀純皇后
Simplified Chinese 孝仪纯皇后
Lady Weigiya
Chinese 魏佳氏
Manchu name
Manchu script ᡥᡳᠶᠣᠣᡧᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᠶᠣᠩᠰᠣᠩᡤᠣ ᠶᠣᠩᡴᡳᠶᠠᡥᠠ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡥᡝᠣ
Romanization hiyoošungga yongsonggo yongkiyaha hūwangheo

Empress Xiaoyichun (23 October 1727 – 28 February 1775) was an Imperial Noble Consort of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty. She was also the mother of the Qianlong Emperor's successor, the Jiaqing Emperor. She was posthumously honoured as an Empress because her son became Emperor, even though she never held the rank of Empress while she was living.


Empress Xiaoyichun was a Han Chinese by birth. Her family name was Wei (魏) and her ancestral home was in Jiangsu. Her personal name is unknown. Her father was Wei Qingtai (魏清泰), who served as an interior guanling (內管領) under the Qing government. Her family name was later changed to the Manchu-sounding Weigiya (魏佳) by Qianlong Emperor, and her family was transferred from a Han Chinese banner to a Manchu banner.

Lady Weigiya was originally a lady-in-waiting to the Qianlong Emperor. She became the emperor's concubine in 1745 and was granted the rank of Noble Lady. She was granted the title "Imperial Concubine Ling" (令嬪) on 9 December in the same year, and was subsequently promoted to "Consort Ling" (令妃) on 20 May 1749, and "Noble Consort Ling" (令貴妃) on 4 February 1760. On 28 July 1765. she was granted the title "Imperial Noble Consort Ling" (令皇貴妃), which put her second only to the Empress. The Empress died in 1766 and the Qianlong Emperor did not designate any of his consorts as the new Empress. However, Lady Weigiya, who held the highest rank among all of the Qianlong Emperor's consorts, was placed in charge of the imperial harem and served as a de facto Empress. She accompanied the Qianlong Emperor on his excursions to Mount Tai, Jehol and the areas south of the Yangtze River.

Lady Weigiya died on 28 February 1775 at the age of 47. On 12 March 1775, she was posthumously granted the title "Imperial Noble Consort Lingyi" (令懿皇貴妃), and on 19 November she was interred in the Yuling Mausoleum in the Eastern Qing tombs. On 9 February 1796, the Qianlong Emperor abdicated in favour of his 15th son, Yongyan (Lady Weigiya's son), and became a Retired Emperor or Emperor Emeritus. At the time Qianlong Emperor announced his successor, he posthumously promoted Weigiya to "Empress Xiaoyichun".


Empress Xiaoyichun bore the Qianlong Emperor four sons and two daughters. Among her children include the Qianlong Emperor's successor, the Jiaqing Emperor.

Empress Xiaoyichun's children were:


Modern references

Empress Xiaoyichun is portrayed by Zhao Lijuan (Juanzi) in the television dramas My Fair Princess (1998-1999) and by Chen Li in My Fair Princess III (2003), based on a novel series by Taiwanese romance writer Chiung Yao. She is referred to as Consort Ling in the dramas.

See also


Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Ulanara, the Step Empress
Empress of China
(title granted posthumously)
Succeeded by
Empress Xiaoshurui
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