|Imperial Noble Consort Zhuangjing|
|Born||2 April 1837|
(道光十七年 二月 二十七日)
|Died||26 December 1890 (aged 53)|
(光緒十六年 十一月 十五日)
Ding Mausoleum, Eastern Qing tombs
(m. 1852; died 1861)
|Issue||Princess Rong'an of the First Rank|
|House||Tatara (他他拉; by birth)|
Aisin Gioro (by marriage)
|Imperial Noble Consort Zhuangjing|
Imperial Noble Consort Zhuangjing's personal name was not recorded in history.
- Father: Qinghai (慶海), served as a sixth rank literary official (主事)
The future Imperial Noble Consort Zhuangjing was born on the 27th day of the second lunar month in the 17th year of the reign of the Daoguang Emperor, which translates to 2 April 1837 in the Gregorian calendar.
On 26 June 1852, Lady Tatara entered the Forbidden City and was granted the title "Noble Lady Li" by the Xianfeng Emperor. During Lady Tatara's time as a consort of the Xianfeng Emperor, she was said to be the most beautiful woman in the Imperial City and was bestowed with a natural grace and allure. Written descriptions about the beauty of Lady Tatara are among the most illustrious and elaborate of Qing dynasty historical texts; they somewhat differ from the passive mentions of beauty and virtue in descriptions of other Qing dynasty imperial consorts and better resemble vivid descriptions of beauties in the historical records of earlier Han Chinese-led dynasties.
On 10 February 1855, Lady Tatara was elevated to "Concubine Li". On 20 June 1855, she gave birth to the emperor's only daughter, Princess Rong'an of the First Rank. Due to the emperor's intense and near monopolic love for her, their daughter was made a first rank princess against tradition. According to Qing dynasty imperial regulations, only the daughters of empresses were qualified to be first rank princesses; all other daughters of the emperor were to be second rank princesses.
On 4 February 1856, Lady Tatara was elevated to "Consort Li". It is said that Lady Tatara was the Xianfeng Emperor's favourite and most charming consort, and that he spent most of his nights with her. On the other hand, Lady Yehe Nara, another of the emperor's consorts, only caught the emperor's attention during and after Lady Tatara's pregnancy. This was because the emperor was not allowed to have sexual relations with Lady Tatara in the 100 days after she gave birth.
The Xianfeng Emperor died on 22 August 1861 and was succeeded by Lady Yehe Nara's son, Zaichun, who was enthroned as the Tongzhi Emperor. Because Lady Tatara had served the Xianfeng Emperor for many years, and was widely acknowledged as the emperor's favourite consort, she was elevated to "Dowager Imperial Noble Consort Li". During this time, she lived in the Palace of Eternal Harmony (永和宮) in the eastern part of the Forbidden City.
The Tongzhi Emperor died on 12 January 1875 and was succeeded by his cousin Zaitian, who was enthroned as the Guangxu Emperor. Lady Tatara's daughter died on 5 February 1875 after suffering a miscarriage upon hearing news of the death of her brother (the Tongzhi Emperor).
Official histories recorded that Lady Tatara was often sick and she died from illness on 26 December 1890. The Guangxu Emperor ordered members of the imperial clan and officials to wear mourning garments for a day. In 1893, Lady Tatara was buried in the Ding Mausoleum of the Eastern Qing tombs, alongside Noble Consort Mei, who died seven days before her. She was granted the posthumous title "Imperial Noble Consort Zhuangjing".
- During the reign of the Daoguang Emperor (r. 1820–1850):
- Lady Tatara (from 2 April 1837)
- During the reign of the Xianfeng Emperor (r. 1850–1861):
- During the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor (r. 1861–1875):
- Imperial Noble Consort Li (麗皇貴妃; from 12 November 1861), second rank consort
- During the reign of the Guangxu Emperor (r. 1875–1908):
- Imperial Noble Consort Zhuangjing (莊靜皇貴妃; from 1890)
- As Concubine Li:
In fiction and popular culture
- Portrayed by Chow Kit in The Burning of Imperial Palace (1983) and Reign Behind a Curtain (1983)
- Portrayed by Bai Qinglin in Sigh of His Highness (2006)
- Seagrave (1992), p. 36.
- Imperial Archives of the Qing Palace.
- 咸丰二年 五月 九日
- 咸丰四年 十二月 二十四日
- 咸丰五年 十二月 二十八日
- 咸豐十一年 十月 十一日
- 清宮檔案 [Imperial Archives of the Qing Palace] (in Chinese).
- Seagrave, Sterling; Seagrave, Peggy (1992). Dragon Lady: The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of China (Illustrated ed.). Knopf.
- Zhao, Erxun (1928). Draft History of Qing (Qing Shi Gao) (in Chinese). Volume 214.