Empress Xiaokangzhang

Empress Xiaokangzhang (Manchu: Hiyoošungga Nesuken Eldembuhe Hūwangheo; 1640 – 20 March 1663) was a consort of the Shunzhi Emperor of the qing dynasty. She was posthumously granted the title of Empress because her son Xuanye was enthroned as the Kangxi Emperor in 1661.


Empress Xiaokangzhang's original family name was Tong (佟). Although her family was of Jurchen origin, they had lived among the Han Chinese for many generations and had been assimilated into Han Chinese society. Empress Xiaokangzhang's father was Tong Tulai (佟圖賴; 1606–1658), a military commander. Her grandfather was Tong Yangzhen (佟養真; d. 1621). She had two brothers - Tong Guogang (佟國綱; d. 1690) and Tong Guowei (佟國維; d. 1719). Empress Xiaokangzhang's clan was originally under the Han Chinese Plain Blue Banner, and was moved to the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner of the Eight Banners after the Kangxi Emperor was enthroned. As a result, Empress Xiaokangzhang's family name Tong was changed to the Manchu clan name Tunggiya.

Lady Tunggiya entered the Shunzhi Emperor's court as an ordinary consort. She never received any titles during Shunzhi's reign. In 1654 she bore the Shunzhi Emperor a son, Xuanye. When Shunzhi died in 1661, Xuanye was chosen to be the successor and was installed on the throne as the Kangxi Emperor. Lady Tunggiya was then granted the title of "Empress Dowager Cihe" (慈和皇太后).

Lady Tunggiya died on 20 March 1663 in the Forbidden City at the age of 23. Her death was reportedly due to an unknown illness but the circumstances surrounding her death were suspicious. Although she had never been Empress during the reign of the Shunzhi Emperor, she was posthumously granted the title of "Empress Xiaokangzhang" by her son, the Kangxi Emperor. She was interred in the Fuling Mausoleum together with the Shunzhi Emperor and his favourite concubine Consort Donggo.

Last update 28-05-2012

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