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Princess Ningguo Zhu Changning -- A Mysterious Princess in A Difficult Situation

Honorable Princess Ningguo and Her Perfect Life

 

Zhu Changning (1364 -- 1434), also respected as Princess Ningguo, was truly an honorable princess in the history of China: her father was Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the prosperous Ming Dynasty; her mother was the famous saint Empress Ma Xiuying.

 

Zhu Changning married to a handsome and talented young man from a noble family, and they were deeply in love with each other. Her life should be happy and perfect. 

 

Wars Between Her Beloved Brother and Nephew 

However, after her father passed away, her fourth brother Zhu Di initiated a war, trying to steal the throne from her nephew emperor Zhu Yunwen.

 

Her husband was in another city at that moment, commanding his army to fight against Zhu Di.

 

Zhu Changning also supported her nephew emperor, and had written many letters to persuade Zhu Di to stop the war. 

 

After Zhu Di occupied the capital city, their nephew emperor burnt down the royal palace and disappeared. 

 

Then Zhu Di forced Zhu Changning to write a letter in blood to ask her husband to surrender.

 

Her husband had to, therefore, surrender and come back, but didn't show respect to Zhu Di. So Zhu Di disliked him even more and found an opportunity to have him executed. 

 

Disrespectful but Pardoned Princess

Zhu Changning was very sad and questioned Zhu Di in person. She cried out loud, pulled his clothes, and interrogated why he did that to her husband.

 

Emperor Zhu Di was famous for being cruel and impatient to other royal relatives and maids. Princess Zhu Changning was probably the most disrespectful person, plus her husband had hurt Zhu Di seriously in the battlefield before. 

 

However, she was, surprisingly, always been treated very well, even much better than other very well behaved and respectable princesses and princes.

Zhu Di denied her accusations and later even wrote a letter to explain that he didn't kill her beloved husband, nicely.


He gave her and her children the most honorable title and the most amount of money, among royal family members.

 

She had displeased Emperor Zhu Di for several times, but had never been blamed. 

 

Princess Ningguo 's Unknow Reason of Being Well Treated 

The reasons why Emperor Zhu Di treated her so well and so special are still unclear in the history of China.

 

Some said because they had the same mother, so they were close; but Zhu Di was not that nice to other close siblings.

 

Others believed that Zhu Di was afraid that their nephew emperor might show up and fight back someday, so, having his beloved aunt in hand might be useful. But Zhu Di actually had everything under control soon, and there was no threat from his nephew emperor at all.

 

Another belief was that because Zhu Di had killed many of his own relatives, so he treated Zhu Changning very well as a way of a compensation. However, he was always strict, sometimes even mean to other princesses and their families, even though some of them contributed and served him well before. 

 

Anyway, as a high-born princess, Ningguo Princess Zhu Changning had been always well respected, by her father emperor, her nephew emperor and her brother emperor.

 

But her beloved husband passed away very young, in the middle of a cruel war among her family members, which was a huge sadness.

 

She never got married again. Princess Zhu Changning passed away peacefully in her 70s, after experiencing a very long and wealthy life.