Empress Xiaoyichun
Empress Xiaoyichun, Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Empress Xiaoyichun
Age 47
Sex Female
Status Imperial Noble Consort of the Qianlong Emperor
Height Unknown
Culture 18th Century China
Date(s) 23 October 1727 – 28 February 1775
Site Unknown
Current Location
Location China
Catalog # None
Empress Xiaoyichun was a Han bannerwoman by birth. Her family name was Wei (魏) and her ancestral home was in Jiangsu. Her personal name is unknown. Her father was Wei Qingtai (魏清泰), who served as interior guanling (內管領; similar to the Japanese kanrei) in the Qing imperial court. Her family name was later changed to the Manchu clan name Weigiya (魏佳) during the reign of her son, the Jiaqing Emperor, and her family was transferred from the Han Banners to the Manchu Banners.

Lady Weigiya was originally a lady-in-waiting to the Qianlong Emperor. She became Qianlong's concubine in 1745 and was granted the rank of Noble Lady Wei (魏貴人). She was granted the title of Imperial Concubine Ling (令嬪) on 9 December in the same year, and was subsequently promoted to Consort Ling (令妃) on 20 May 1749, and Noble Consort Ling (令貴妃) on 4 February 1760. On 28 July 1765 she was granted the title of Imperial Noble Consort Ling (令皇貴妃), which was second only to Empress Ulanara. Empress Ulanara died in 1766 and the Qianlong Emperor did not designate any of his consorts as the new empress. However, Lady Weigiya, who held the highest rank among all of Qianlong's concubines, was placed in charge of the imperial harem and performed the duties of an empress. She accompanied the Qianlong Emperor on his excursions to Mount Tai, Jehol and the areas south of the Yangtze River.

Lady Weigiya died on 28 February 1775 at the age of 47. On 12 March 1775 she was posthumously granted the title of Imperial Noble Consort Lingyi (令懿皇貴妃), and on 19 November she was interred in the Yuling Mausoleum in Hebei. On 9 February 1796, the Qianlong Emperor abdicated in favour of his son Yongyan (born to Lady Weigiya) and became Retired Emperor. Yongyan ascended to the throne as the Jiaqing Emperor and granted his mother the posthumous title of Empress Xiaoyichun.

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