Empress dowager (also Dowager Empress or Empress mother) (Chinese: 皇太后; Chinese pinyin: Húang Tài Hòu, Korean pronunciation: Hwang Tae Hu, Japanese pronunciation: Kōtaigō, Vietnamese pronunciation: Hoàng Thái Hậu) was the title given to the mother of a Chinese, Korean, Japanese or Vietnamese emperor. The title was also given occasionally to another woman of the same generation, while a woman from the previous generation was sometimes given the title of Grand empress dowager. Numerous empress dowagers held regency during the reign of an underage emperor. Many of the most prominent empress dowagers also extended their control for long periods after the emperor was old enough to govern. This was a source of political turmoil according to the traditional view of Chinese history.
The title Dowager Empress was given to the wife of a deceased Emperor of Russia, or of the Holy Roman Emperor.
Famous quotes containing the word empress:
“We never really are the adults we pretend to be. We wear the mask and perhaps the clothes and posture of grown-ups, but inside our skin we are never as wise or as sure or as strong as we want to convince ourselves and others we are. We may fool all the rest of the people all of the time, but we never fool our parents. They can see behind the mask of adulthood. To her mommy and daddy, the empress never has on any clothesand knows it.”
—Frank Pittman (20th century)