Tang dynasty

Empress Dowager Wang (Xianzong)


Empress Dowager Wang, born in 763 during Emperor Daizong’s reign, became a crucial figure in the Tang dynasty. Originally selected as an imperial consort, she was given to Emperor Daizong’s grandson, Li Song, in 775. After giving birth to Li Song’s son in 778, she received the rank of princely consort. In 779, when Li Song became the Crown Prince, she attained the title of Liangdi. In 805, following Emperor Dezong’s death, Li Song ascended the throne as Emperor Shunzong, but a stroke left him incapacitated. Although he desired to make her empress, his inability to speak prevented it. In 806, after Emperor Shunzong’s death, their son Emperor Xianzong honored Wang as Empress Dowager. Known for her kind and humble disposition, she passed away in 816 and was buried alongside Emperor Shunzong.


Spouse: Emperor Daizong of Tang


Emperor Shunzong of Tang, born in February to March 761, briefly ruled the Chinese Tang dynasty in 806. He became emperor after the death of his father, Emperor Dezong, in 805. However, his reign was short-lived due to illness, and the influential eunuchs took advantage of his weakened state to facilitate the transfer of the throne to his son, Li Chun (Emperor Xianzong). Emperor Shunzong was posthumously honored as Taishang Huang (retired emperor) and died in 806. Some historians suspect that he might have been murdered by the eunuchs who orchestrated Emperor Xianzong’s succession. During his brief rule, Emperor Shunzong and his associates initiated reforms, known as the Yongzhen Reformation, aimed at strengthening imperial control over regional warlords and eunuchs. Although his associates lost influence after his abdication, Emperor Xianzong’s subsequent reign witnessed a reassertion of imperial power.

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