Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Yuan Hong -- A Great King in History of China with Series of Sad Experiences

Yuan Hong (467 -- 499) was a great king with exceptional achievements, however, as powerful as he was, he suffered a lot of heartbreaking experiences.


It turned out that the power didn't bring him any happinesses that he had expected. 

Losing of Parents As a Toddler 

His country was established by a minority group in the history of China, which had a tradition that if a boy was nominated as the crown prince, his birth mother should commit suicide; this was meant to eliminate the possibility of a strong mother and her clan to have a negative influence on politics.

So Yuan Hong’s mother was killed after he became the crown prince, when he was only 3 years old. Also, his father was poisoned to death when he was 9, by his grandmother Empress Dowager Feng


When the Empress Dowager Feng was in charge, Yuan Hong always behaved and learned many things about politics and government administration.


After Feng passed away, he was very sad and didn’t eat or drink anything for 5 entire days.


Then he took absolute control over his empire and became a real king when he was 23. 


Excellent King Yuan Hong and His Flourishing Empire 

King Yuan Hong moved his capital city southward, where was easier to dominate his kingdom; then he commanded his citizens to use Han style family names, wear Han clothes and speak the Han language.


He popularized many Han classics and defeated all rebel armies. Through his series of political reforms and administrations, the country became more and more prosperous. 


However, as a powerful king who was allowed to have as many women as he wanted, his love life was full of tragedies. 


Losing of Beloved Women and Son

According to their tradition, King Yuan Hong was forced to kill his beloved queen to let his first son become the crown prince; but later the crown prince betrayed him and wanted to start a new country.


Yuan then had to sentence this first son to death. 


Years later, Yuan fell in love with his second queen, but she got sick and then was sent back home by Empress Dowager Feng.


Years later, King Yuan Hong took her back, after hearing that she was recovered. 


But she cheated on him for several times.


The second queen and her secret lover tried to force a princess to marry with one of their followers when Yuan was not in the city.


The princess escaped and ran a long way to meet Yuan, and informed him about the queen’s affair.


King Yuan Hong was very upset, but didn’t punish the second queen, because she was his true love and was from his grandmother Feng’s clan. 

Leaving the World at A Young Age

King Yuan Hong passed away on his way back from a war, at a very young age.


Before he departed, he commanded his second queen to suicide; because he knew this woman, whom he loved so such, was very ambitious on politics.


He couldn’t let her endanger his kingdom after he left.


In the end, this queen who broke Yuan’s heart was buried using a queen’s ceremony. 


As a powerful king of a prosperous kingdom, Yuan Hong seemed extremely sad. He had lost his parents when he was little, had been punished for several times by his powerful grandmother, was forced to kill his beloved queen and first son, was betrayed and deeply hurt by his truly beloved second queen, and died heartbroken in his 30’s.


Even so, he still implemented exceptional reforms in the history of China, which brought his people with better lives and a flourishing society.