Empress Fu (Ai)

Empress Fu (傅皇后) (died 1 BC), formally Empress Xiaoai (孝哀皇后), was an empress during han dynasty. Her personal name is unknown. Her husband (perhaps in name only, for he appeared to be far more enamored with his male favorite and probable lover Dong Xian than he was with her) was Emperor Ai.

Empress Fu was the daughter of her husband's grandmother Consort Fu's cousin Fu Yan (傅晏). She became his consort when he was still the Prince of Dingtao and later crown prince. After the death of his uncle Emperor Cheng in 6 BC, he ascended the throne as Emperor Ai, and she was created his empress that same year. Her father was created the Marquess of Kongxiang.

Very little is known about Empress Fu's life before or after she became an empress. She appeared to have very little influence on her husband or other political figures during her years as an empress.

By the time Emperor Ai died in 1 BC, Empress Fu's main support, Consort Fu, had already been dead for two years, and she suddenly was all alone as her father and her other relatives were purged from government by Grand Empress Dowager Wang's nephew Wang Mang. Wang, who bore grudges against Consort Fu and Emperor Ai, did not permit her to become empress dowager, and a brief time after Emperor Ai's death, he had her demoted to commoner status and ordered her to guard her husband's tomb—even though she was not personally involved in any of the political intrigue. She committed suicide that day.

Last update 24-04-2012

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