Southern Song Dynasty

Xie Daoqing

Xie Daoqing, a Chinese empress consort of the Song dynasty married to Emperor Lizong, served as regent for Emperor Duzong in 1264 and later for Emperor Gong of Song from 1274-1276. Born into a lineage of court officials, she was chosen as Empress Lizong’s consort by Empress Yang. Despite not having a surviving son, she became an influential figure during two critical reigns. As the Mongol Empire’s forces encroached upon the Song territory, Xie attempted to rally her people while simultaneously seeking peace with the Mongols. In 1275, after a crushing defeat against the Mongols, she ordered the execution of the chancellor Jia Sidao. By 1276, facing the unstoppable advance of the Mongols, she led the surrender of the Song dynasty. Later that year, she, alongside the young Emperor and other royal members, were relocated to Beijing by the Mongols, where they were granted tax-free properties and settled without their royal titles.

Spouse: Emperor Lizong of Song

Emperor Lizong of Song (Zhao Yun), the 14th emperor of the Song dynasty in China and the fifth emperor of the Southern Song dynasty, ruled from 1224 to 1264. Originally named Zhao Yuju, he changed his name to Zhao Guicheng and later to Zhao Yun upon being elevated to an imperial son. Despite being a descendant of Emperor Taizu, the founder of the Song dynasty, Zhao Yun was not in line for succession due to his family’s lack of political status. However, with the collaboration of Chancellor Shi Miyuan and Empress Dowager Yang, Zhao Yun was placed on the throne in 1224 after the death of Emperor Ningzong. During his 40-year reign, Lizong did little to improve the dynasty, indulging in pleasure while facing Mongol threats on the borders. He died at age 59 in 1264, succeeded by his nephew Emperor Duzong.

More from Xiang Li Art