Prince Chun of the Blood 醇親王
Yixuan, 1st Prince Chun (simplified Chinese: 醇贤亲王; traditional Chinese: 醇賢親王; pinyin: Chún Xián Qīn Wáng; officially Prince of the First Rank Chun Xian) (16 October 1840 – 1 January 1891) was a prince of the Qing Dynasty, the last reigning dynasty of China. He was the father of the dynasty's penultimate emperor, the Guangxu Emperor, and the paternal grandfather of China's last emperor, Puyi.
Birth and early life
1st Prince Chun was born in the twentieth year of Emperor Daoguang's reign. He was the seventh son of the Daoguang Emperor. His mother was the Worthy Lady Lin (琳貴人). Four months after his birth, Yixuan's mother was elevated to the rank of Imperial Concubine Lin (琳嬪). In 1842, she was again elevated to the rank of Consort Lin (琳妃), and in 1846 was elevated once more to the rank of Noble Consort Lin (琳貴妃). She was posthumously honored as Imperial Noble Consort Zhuang Shun (莊順皇貴妃) by the Tongzhi Emperor. As the seventh son of the emperor, he was titled as the Seventh Prince (七王爺).
During the Xianfeng and Tongzhi Emperors' reigns
In February 1850, Yixuan's older half-brother Yizhu (奕詝) ascended the throne as the Xianfeng Emperor, and Yixuan was made Prince Chun of the Second Rank (醇郡王). Although 1st Prince Chun led a quiet and undistinguished life at court during the Xianfeng Emperor's 11-year reign, his fortune was made by his sister-in-law, Empress Dowager Cixi, following the Xianfeng Emperor's death.
In 1860, he was married by the Xiang Emperor's imperial decree to Empress Dowager Cixi's younger sister, Yehenara Wanzhen. The marriage created close ties between the house of 1st Prince Chun and the woman who was about to become regent and absolute ruler of China. Then, on 22 August 1861, the Xianfeng Emperor died, leaving his and Empress Dowager Cixi's five-year old son, the future Tongzhi Emperor, as his only heir. In the ensuing struggle over who would assume the regency, 1st Prince Chun sided with Empress Dowager Cixi's party. In November 1861, when Empress Dowager Cixi launched the Xinyou Coup (辛酉政變) with the help of the 1st Prince Chun's older half-brother, Yixin, Prince Gong, 1st Prince Chun carried out the order to arrest Sushun, the leader of the opposing party, and brought him back to Beijing where he was beheaded.
As a result of this event, the prince found himself elevated to the highest military and government positions at court. Throughout the following 14 years of the Tongzhi Emperor's reign, 1st Prince Chun led a military and government career. In 1872, he was officially elevated to the rank of Prince Chun of the First Rank (醇親王).
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