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Empress dowager (also dowager empress or empress mother) (
Korean pronunciation: Hwang Tae Hu;
Vietnamese: Hoàng Thái Hậu) is the
English language translation of the title given to the
widow of a
The title was also given occasionally to another
woman of the same generation, while a woman from the previous generation was sometimes given the title of
grand empress dowager. Numerous empress dowagers held
regency during the reign of underage emperors. Many of the most prominent empress dowagers also extended their control for long periods after the emperor was old enough to govern. This was a source of political turmoil according to the traditional view of Chinese history.
The title dowager empress was given to the wife of a deceased
emperor of Russia or
Holy Roman emperor.