Danashiri (1320-1335) was the Empress consort of the Yuan dynasty, married to Toghon Temür. Born into the Kipchaks house, she was the daughter of El Temür, who served as the prime minister during the initial years of her husband’s rule. Although she bore a son named Maha, he tragically died in infancy due to measles. Danashiri frequently clashed with the emperor due to his fondness for his concubine, Lady Ki, whom Danashiri often ordered to be physically punished. Her involvement in her brother’s unsuccessful rebellion, where she attempted to shield him from execution, led to her exile to Hefei. Eventually, she was poisoned.
Bayan Khutugh (1324-1365), also known as Bayan Qudu, was the Empress consort of the Yuan dynasty and the second wife of Toghon Temür (Emperor Huizong). Hailing from the influential Khongirad tribe’s Hongjila clan, she was the daughter of Bolod Temür. Following the execution of Toghon Temür’s first empress, Danashiri, in 1335 due to her involvement in a failed rebellion, Bayan Qudu was married to the emperor in 1337 and enthroned as empress at the age of thirteen. Described as “frugal, unjealous, and observant of ritual and regulation” in the History of Yuan, she was in sharp contrast to the emperor’s favorite concubine, Lady Ki. Despite leading a simple and retiring life, an incident where she refused a visit from Toghon Temür elevated her stature in his eyes. She passed away in 1365 at the age of forty-two.
Empress Gi, also known as Empress Qi or Öljei Khutuk (1315-1370(?)), was a Goryeo-born empress consort of the Yuan dynasty and one of the main empresses of Toghon Temür (Emperor Huizong). Born to a low-ranking aristocratic family in Goryeo, she initially served as a concubine to the emperor and rapidly became his favorite due to her beauty and talents. Her rise to power was marked by courtly opposition, especially when the emperor wanted to promote her beyond her status as a Goryeo woman. Eventually, she gave birth to a son, Ayushiridara, and was later elevated to the rank of secondary empress. As Emperor Toghon Temür became less involved in governance, Empress Gi wielded significant political and economic influence, even attempting to install her son as Khagan. Following internal strife and the decline of the Yuan dynasty, she ascended as the primary empress in 1365. After the Yuan dynasty’s fall in 1368, she became the Grand Empress in 1370 upon her son’s ascension but disappeared shortly thereafter.
Spouse: Emperor Shun of Yuan
Tuohuantiemu’er, also known as Emperor Huizong of Yuan, was the last emperor of the Yuan dynasty and the first emperor of the Northern Yuan dynasty. Born on 25 May 1320, he was the son of Kusala (Emperor Mingzong) and is recognized as the last Khagan of the Mongol Empire. His reign saw the overthrow of the Yuan dynasty by the Red Turban Rebellion, leading to the establishment of the Ming dynasty. However, the Yuan court under his rule retained control of northern China and the Mongolian Plateau, forming the historical entity known as the Northern Yuan. Emperor Huizong was a devoted student of Buddhism, particularly of the Karmapas, and is considered a previous incarnation of the Tai Situpas. Despite his efforts to learn from Tibetan Buddhist scholars, such as Dölpopa Shérab Gyeltsen, he faced challenges during the turbulent transition between dynasties.