Five Wives of The Last Emperor Puyi
The third wife: Tan Yuling
Tan Yuling (谭玉龄) (1920 – 14 August 1942) was a concubine of the Emperor of Manchukuo, Puyi. Her name is sometimes transliterated into English as “Jade Years”.
An ethnic Manchu of the Tatala clan, Yuling changed her Manchurian clan to a common Han last name "Tan" (谭) based on their similarity of pronunciation, due to anti-Manchuism in China following the Xinhai Revolution which overthrew the Manchu Qing dynasty. In 1927, while still a child, she entered the service of the court, and she accompanied the court to the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo when it was formed in 1932.
On 6 April 1937, she was selected by Puyi as imperial concubine, and was granted the title of Imperial Concubine Xiang (祥贵人), which meant she was a consort of the Fifth Degree. She died six years after her marriage while being treated for typhoid fever. Puyi felt that the death was suspicious, since she died shortly after an injection given by her Japanese doctor. Tan Yuling was known to have resented the Japanese control over the Emperor, and Puyi came under pressure from the Japanese Kwantung Army to select a Japanese as her replacement.
After her death, Ta Yuling was posthumously elevated to the rank of "Gui-Fei", meaning: "Noble Concubine" (Consort of the Second Degree) and was given the name of "Ming-Xian" (明贤).
In 2004, the descendants of the Imperial Qing House further posthumously elevated her to the rank of "Huang-Gui-Fei", meaning: "Imperial Noble Consort" (皇贵妃) (Consort of the First Degree).
The fourth wife: Li Yuqin
Li Yuqin (李玉琴), also known as the "Last Imperial Concubine", (15 July 1928 – 24 April 2001) was the fourth wife (or third concubine) and last Imperial Concubine of Puyi, the last Emperor of China's Qing Dynasty.
Li Yuqin was 15 years old in 1943 when she became the fourth wife of China's last emperor—Aisingyoro Henry Puyi—of the Manchu minority that ruled China for over 300 years (1644–1911). She died at age 73 in the northeastern city of Changchun after a six-year battle with cirrhosis, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
Puyi, who was deposed as emperor in the 1911 Chinese revolution, and became a puppet emperor in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, picked Li Yuqin as his concubine, but abandoned her after World War II, when Manchukuo fell amid Japan's defeat. Li Yuqin remained in Manchuria after Puyi was taken to Russia by Soviet troops. After the Communist Party seized power in China in 1949 she continued to live in China and became a librarian during 1956 in Changchun.
In May 1957 she formally divorced Puyi and later married a technician, and had two sons. The prison authority once tried to persuade her to give up the divorce for the sake of the Puyi's transformation into a new person. Later, her son recalled with the comment: "My mother had the right to pursue her own happiness."
The fifth wife: Li Shuxian
Li Shuxian, also known as Li Shu-Hsien (李淑贤) (1925 – 9 June 1997) was the fifth and last wife of Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty in China.
She was a Han Chinese and a former hospital worker. In 1959, after fifteen years in prison, Puyi was pardoned. The pair were introduced to one another by a friend in 1962 and wed that same year. Premier Zhou Enlai greeted their marriage. They had no children. She accompanied Puyi to his last days.
After her husband's death, Li retired from public view. Since she was not a regular hospital employee, her life became difficult. Premier Zhou Enlai asked a relevant governmental office to give her special financial relief.
In the early eighties she sought and received legal ownership of royalties from Puyi's autobiography from the government of China. She later became wealthy by publishing her own memoirs about her final years with Puyi. She narrated as a writer wrote.
Approved by the government, she moved Puyi's ashes closer to his ancestors in the Western Qing Tombs (清西陵) from the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery. She died of lung cancer at the age of 72. In her will, she requested that she, Puyi, and Puyi's 2nd concubine Tan Yuling (谭玉龄) be buried together in the cemetery. However, her wishes have thus far not been realized.