Wang Zhengjun

Wang Zhengjun
Predecessor Empress Wang
Successor Empress Xu
Born 71 B.C.
Yuancheng
Died 13 AD (aged 83)
Spouse Emperor Yuan of Han
Issue Emperor Cheng of Han
Full name
Family name: Wang 王
Given name: Zhengjun 政君
Titles

太子妃 Crown Princess (50–48 BC)
皇后 Empress (48–33 BC)
皇太后 Empress Dowager (33–7 BC)
太皇太后 Grand Empress Dowager (7 BC – 8)
新室文母太皇太后 Grand Empress Dowager Xinsin Wenwu (8–13)
Posthumous name
Empress Xiaoyuan 孝元皇后
Father Wang Jin, Marquess of Yangping
Mother Li Qin

Wang Zhengjun ( Chinese: 王政君; 71 BC – 13 AD), officially Empress Xiaoyuan (孝元皇后), later and more commonly known as Grand Empress Dowager Wang, born in Yuancheng (modern Handan, Hebei), was an empress during the Western Han dynasty of China, who played important roles during the reigns of five successive Han emperors—her husband, her son, her two stepgrandsons, and her stepgreat-grandnephew—and later (according to traditional historians, unwittingly) led to the usurpation of the throne by her nephew Wang Mang. She is largely viewed sympathetically by historians as an unassuming and benevolent if overly doting woman who suffered much in her long life, who tried to influence the empire as well as she could, and who was not a party to her nephew's machinations, but whose failure, leading to the downfall of the Western Han Dynasty, was her overdependence on her clan (the Wangs).

Marriage and accession

In the middle of the 50s BC, Consort Sima, the favorite consort of Crown Prince Liu Shi (later Emperor Yuan) died from an illness. Crown Prince Shi was grief-stricken and became ill and depressed himself. His father, Emperor Xuan, was concerned, so he had his wife, Empress Wang (unrelated to Wang Zhengjun) select the most beautiful of the young ladies in waiting and had them sent to Crown Prince Shi. Wang Zhengjun was one of the ladies in waiting chosen. She bore him his firstborn son, Liu Ao (later Emperor Cheng) circa 51 BC. Prince Ao became Emperor Xuan's favorite grandson and often accompanied him.

In 49 BC, Emperor Xuan died, and Crown Prince Shi became emperor. In 48 BC, he created then-Consort Wang, as the mother of his firstborn son, empress. Her father was created the Marquess of Yangping. (His title was later inherited by his son and Empress Wang's brother Wang Feng (王鳳), who would later play a large role in government.)

Other Languages
hrvatski: Wang Zhengjun
Nederlands: Wang Zhengjun
日本語: 王政君
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Carica Wang Zhengjun
svenska: Wang Zhengjun
українська: Ван (імператриця)
Tiếng Việt: Vương Chính Quân
中文: 王政君