Princess Tang Shixia – Emperor Puyi’s first love




Tang Shixia
(public domain)

Princess Tang Shixia’s story proved that marrying into the royal family did not bring a person happiness. She was the childhood sweetheart of Puyi, the Last Emperor of China. However, she was forced to marry his younger brother, Prince Pujie. Their marriage would prove to be unhappy. Princess Tang Shixia cheated on him twice and even stole from him. They were forced by the Japanese Kwantung Army to divorce. After the divorce, Princess Tang Shixia became a famous painter.

In 1904, Princess Tang Shixia was born in Beijing. She was from the Tatara clan. Her father was Zhiqi, the younger brother of Zhen and Duan Kang (Emperor Guangxu’s imperial consorts).[1] She had a brother named Tang Junwu and four sisters. The most famous of her sisters was Tang Shunjun, who would later be a delegate to the National Assembly of the People’s Republic of China. She would also later be a cousin of Imperial Consort Tan Yuling (Emperor Puyi’s third wife).

Imperial Consort Duan Kang brought her niece, Tang Shixia, to the palace to keep her company.[2] She was fond of her and gave her an excellent education. Tang Shixia learned calligraphy, painting, chess, and piano.[3] She was described to be beautiful and intelligent.[4] She grew up alongside Emperor Puyi. She fell in love with him, and Emperor Puyi reciprocated her feelings.[5] Tang Shixia began to imagine herself as Emperor Puyi’s empress.[6] Even though they were childhood sweethearts, Imperial Consort Duang Kang found her to be unsuitable for Emperor Puyi because of her willful nature.[7] She decided it would be best for Tang Shixia to marry Emperor Puyi’s younger brother, Prince Pujie.[8]

On 12 January 1924, Tang Shixia married Prince Pujie. Princess Tang Shixia was twenty years old, and Prince Pujie was seventeen. They strongly disliked each other.[9] Prince Pujie thought Princess Tang Shixia had a dominant and frivolous personality.[10] Princess Tang Shixia was still in love with Emperor Puyi, and she often compared her husband to him.[11] Therefore, she frequently looked down on her husband.[12] There was nothing that Prince Pujie could do to satisfy her.[13] Prince Pujie’s father, Prince Zaifeng, also did not like Princess Tang Shixia. He found her to be very arrogant.[14] The marriage between Prince Pujie and Princess Tang Shixia was very unhappy.[15] They did not have any children.

In 1926, Prince Puji wanted to meet a prominent young marshal named Zhang Xueliang, who would later become one of the four greatest men in the People’s Republic of China.[16] On a spring day, Prince Pujie and Princess Tang Shixia met him at a banquet at the Beijing Hotel. Zhang Xueliang was rich, handsome, and passionate.[17] Princess Tang Shixia fell madly in love with him and had a passionate love affair with him.[18] Prince Pujie knew about his wife’s infidelity, but he never discussed the affair with her.[19] Zhang Xueliang loved Princess Tang Shixia because of her gifts of painting and poetry.[20] He hoped that one day Princess Tang Shixia would divorce Prince Pujie so that he could marry her.[21] However, he ended the affair when he learned that Princess Tang Shixia’s paintings and poems were not made by her but by other people.[22] Later, Princess Tang Shixia would refute Zhang Xueliang’s accusations that her paintings and poems were fake.[23] She claimed that her artwork was made solely by her own hand.[24]

In 1929, Emperor Puyi arranged for Prince Pujie to study abroad in Japan. Princess Tang Shixia did not accompany her husband to Japan. While Prince Pujie was in Japan, Princess Tang Shixia had a love affair with Lu Xiaojia, the son of the Governor of Zhejiang, Lu Yongxiang. Later, Lu Xiaojia would also be considered one of the four greatest men in the People’s Republic of China.[25] Princess Tang Shixia’s affair with Lu Xiaojia caused her to be openly criticized.[26] The public was shocked that she was openly flaunting her lover rather than remaining faithful to her husband.[27] They even called her “scum.” [28] One of her critics was her former lover, Zhang Xueliang.[29] He called her a “too big asshole” [30] for cheating on her husband.

Princess Tang Shixia began to steal many rare treasures from her husband’s princely mansion and sold them to make a large profit.[31] She claimed the reason was that she did not want them to fall into Japanese hands.[32] In 1935, Prince Pujie returned from Japan. He asked his wife to move with him to the puppet state of Manchukuo. Princess Tang Shixia refused to go with him because she was unwilling to cooperate with the Japanese.[33] 

Even though Princess Tang Shixia cheated on Prince Pujie and stole his property, Prince Pujie still did not want to divorce her.[34] In 1936, the Japanese Kwantung Army wanted Prince Pujie to marry a Japanese woman.[35] Prince Pujie refused and said, “I have a wife, and I can’t marry again” [36]. His statement angered the Japanese Kwantung Army.[37] They made their way to Prince Pujie’s mansion to force Princess Tang Shixia to divorce him.[38] However, Princess Tang Shixia had already left for Shanghai.[39] They forced her brother, Tang Junwu, to provide the divorce papers for Princess Tang Shixia and Prince Pujie.[40] Thus, Princess Tang Shixia and Prince Pujie were forced to divorce.[41] In 1937, Prince Pujie married Princess Hiro Saga and had a happy marriage with her. Princess Tang Shixia never remarried.

After the divorce, Princess Tang Shixia ended her affair with Lu Xiaojia.[42] Painting became her primary profession.[43] In 1947, she held her own art exhibition at the China Painting Gallery.[44] She became a famous and successful painter. In 1949, she moved to Hong Kong and became a professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Oriental Language School.[45] After that, very little is known about her. She held art exhibitions in Taiwan.[46] Before her death, she donated her paintings to the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan. In 1993, Princess Tang Shixia died in Hong Kong. She was eighty-nine years old.

Princess Tang Shixia was an unconventional and controversial figure. Yet, she lived her life according to her own terms. She was able to find success and happiness after divorcing her royal husband. Even though she did not gain Prince Pujie’s love, she did win the hearts of three famous men in Chinese history. Because of her shocking public scandals, Princess Tang Shixia will continue to be scrutinized and judged.

Sources:

iNews. (n.d.). “Tang Shixia: After marrying the prince, he captured Zhang Xueliang and joined Lu Xiaojia to grab the Chun Wangfu. What was the ending?”. Retrieved on 20 November 2022 from https://inf.news/ne/history/cc42f11882a20eb25007753bf5ada61e.html.

iNews. (n.d.). “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”. Retrieved on 20 November 2022 from https://inf.news/en/history/d 4936a5ca49d86df2ff9c806a3c440d4.html.

iNews. (n.d.). “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”. Retrieved on 20 November 2022 from https://inf.news/en/history/df7a014984b5f8255ad9e10f7f354989.html.

iMedia. (n.d.). “”Cuckold” Puyi’s brother and affair with Zhang Xueliang, what does the Republic of China scumbag look like?”. Retrieved on 20 November 2022 from https://min.news/en/history/fbd41b84114d0664b4d06638711817fa.html.

Laitimes. (October 27, 2021). “Tang Yiying is Princess Jin’s niece, Pu Jie’s married wife, why did she divorce, and what was the ending?”. Retrieved on 20 November 2022 from https://www.laitimes.com/en/article/631t_63tb.html.


[1] iNews, n.d., “Tang Shixia: After marrying the prince, he captured Zhang Xueliang, and joined Lu Xiaojia to grab the Chun Wangfu. What was the ending?”

[2] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[3] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[4] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[5] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[6] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[7] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[8] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[9] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[10] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[11] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[12] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[13] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[14] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[15] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[16] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[17] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”; iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[18] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[19] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[20] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[21] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[22] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[23] Laitimes, 27 October 2021, “Tang Yiying is Princess Jin’s niece, Pu Jie’s married wife, why did she divorce, and what was the ending?”

[24] Laitimes, 27 October 2021, “Tang Yiying is Princess Jin’s niece, Pu Jie’s married wife, why did she divorce, and what was the ending?”

[25] Laitimes, 27 October 2021, “Tang Yiying is Princess Jin’s niece, Pu Jie’s married wife, why did she divorce, and what was the ending?”

[26] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[27] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[28] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”, para. 13

[29] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”

[30] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying: First marry Pu Jie, then cheat on Zhang Xueliang, and then have an affair with Lu Xiaojia and become romantic”, para. 117

[31] iMedia, n.d., “”Cuckold” Puyi’s brother and affair with Zhang Xueliang, what does the Republic of China scumbag look like?”

[32] Laitimes, 27 October 2021, “Tang Yiying is Princess Jin’s niece, Pu Jie’s married wife, why did she divorce, and what was the ending?”

[33] Laitimes, 27 October 2021, “Tang Yiying is Princess Jin’s niece, Pu Jie’s married wife, why did she divorce, and what was the ending?”

[34] iMedia, n.d., “”Cuckold” Puyi’s brother and affair with Zhang Xueliang, what does the Republic of China scumbag look like?”

[35] iNews, n.d., “Tang Shixia: After marrying the prince, he captured Zhang Xueliang, and joined Lu Xiaojia to grab the Chun Wangfu. What was the ending?”

[36] iNews, n.d., “Tang Shixia: After marrying the prince, he captured Zhang Xueliang, and joined Lu Xiaojia to grab the Chun Wangfu. What was the ending?”, para. 11

[37] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[38] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[39] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[40] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[41] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[42] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[43] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[44] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[45] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”

[46] iNews, n.d., “Tang Yiying, a scumbag girl from the Republic of China, is abusive? Pu Jie is her husband, Zhang Xueliang and Lu Xiaojia are her lover”






About Lauralee Jacks 178 Articles
I am a former elementary teacher in Tennessee. I have a bachelor’s degree in Liberal and Civic Studies from St. Mary’s College of California, a master’s in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the College of Saint Mary. Because my family are from East Asia, I have a passion for historical Chinese and Korean television shows. I always wanted to separate fact from fiction in dramas. Writing articles from History of Royal Women gives me a chance to dig deeper and explore these royal women as they might have been in real life. Also, it gives me a chance to look at the history and culture of where my family originated. I love researching East Asian royalty because they rarely get enough attention in the West often being overshadowed by European royalty. I find these royal women to be just as fascinating and their stories deserve to be told. Thus, I am excited to write for History of Royal Women!

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