Southern Song Dynasty

Empress Guo (Chengmu)

​Empress Xing (Xing Shi), a Chinese empress of the Song dynasty, was married to Emperor Gaozong of Song. Their marriage took place in 1115 when Xing was eight years old. In 1126, during the Jin–Song Wars, Emperor Huizong abdicated in favor of his son, Emperor Qinzong. The Jurchen captured the capital, Kaifeng, in 1127, leading to the deposition of Emperor Qinzong and the capture of over 3000 members of the imperial family. Xing, among the captured, was taken to Manchuria. Despite attempts to escape abuse, she died in captivity in 1139. Emperor Gaozong, who avoided capture, declared himself Emperor, establishing the Southern Song dynasty. Unaware of Xing’s death, he maintained her as Empress in absentia until 1143, when he appointed a new Empress, Consort Wu, after learning of Xing’s demise upon the return of his mother, Consort Wei, who was released from captivity. Xing’s remains were returned and buried in 1139.

Southern Song Dynasty

Empress Xia

Empress Xia Shenfu (1136 – 13 July 1167) was a Chinese empress consort of the Song dynasty, married to Emperor Xiaozong of Song.

Xia originally served as a maid to the first spouse of Xiaozong, who died in 1156 when he was still a prince. In 1162, he married Xia as his second main spouse, and in 1163, he gave her the title of empress. She had one son and one daughter, both of whom died very young.

Southern Song Dynasty

Empress Xie

Empress Xie of the Song dynasty was the consort of Emperor Xiaozong. She was chosen by Empress Dowager Wu to be a concubine for Emperor Xiaozong, who had lost interest in companionship following the death of his second empress, Empress Xia. Despite ascending to the role of primary consort, Empress Xie did not have any surviving children. Unlike several of her counterparts from the Southern Song Dynasty who were actively involved in politics, Empress Xie remained politically aloof. She was recognized for her diligent, fair, and frugal management of the inner palace. Despite her high status, she lived a largely isolated life, receiving minimal affection from her husband and relatives. Consequently, Empress Xie was often viewed as a tragic and solitary figure within the royal court.

Spouse: Emperor Xiaozong of Song

Emperor Xiaozong of Song (Zhao Shen), the 11th emperor of the Song dynasty and the second ruler of the Southern Song dynasty, began his reign in 1162 when his adoptive father and predecessor, Emperor Gaozong, abdicated and transferred the throne to him. Initially, Gaozong retained significant influence, serving as the de facto ruler even after abdication. It was only in 1187, following Gaozong’s death, that Xiaozong assumed full power. After approximately a year of rule, Xiaozong emulated his predecessor, abdicating in favor of his third son, Zhao Dun (Emperor Guangzong). Despite the abdication, Xiaozong continued to wield power as Taishang Huang (Retired Emperor) until his death in 1194, marking the first instance of a descendant of Emperor Taizu ascending to the imperial throne.

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