The Empress of China is a Chinese television drama based on events in 7th and 8th-century Tang dynasty, starring producer Fan Bingbing as the titular character Wu Zetian—the only woman in Chinese history to rule as an emperor.
Runtime: 45 minutes
The Empress of China - Emperor of China - Netflix
The Emperor or Huangdi (Chinese: 皇帝; pinyin: Huángdì) was the secular imperial title of the Chinese sovereign reigning between the founding of the Qin dynasty that unified China in 221 BC, until the abdication of Puyi in 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution and the establishment of the Republic of China, although it was later restored twice in two failed revolutions in 1916 and 1917. The holy title of Chinese emperor was the Son of Heaven (Chinese: 天子; pinyin: tiānzǐ), a title much older than the Emperor of China which predates the Zhou Dynasty and recognized as the ruler of “All under Heaven” (i.e., the whole world). In practice not every Emperor held supreme power in China, although this was usually the case. Emperors from the same family are classified in historical periods known as dynasties. Most of China's imperial rulers have commonly been considered members of the Han ethnicity, although recent scholarship tends to be wary of applying present day ethnic categories to historical situations. During the Yuan and Qing dynasties China was ruled by ethnic Mongols and Manchus respectively. The orthodox historical view sees these as non-native dynasties that became sinicized, though some recent scholars (such as those of the New Qing History school) argue that the interaction between politics and ethnicity was far more complex. Nevertheless, in both cases these rulers claimed the Mandate of Heaven to assume the role of traditional Confucian emperors in order to rule over China proper.
The Empress of China - Family - Netflix
The Imperial family was made up of the Emperor and the Empress (皇后) as the primary consort and Mother of the Nation (國母/国母). In addition, the Emperor would typically have several other consorts and concubines (嬪妃/嫔妃), ranked by importance into a harem, in which the Empress was supreme. Every dynasty had its set of rules regarding the numerical composition of the harem. During the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), for example, imperial convention dictated that at any given time there should be one Empress, one Huang Guifei, two Guifei, four fei and six pin, plus an unlimited number of other consorts and concubines. Although the Emperor had the highest status by law, by tradition and precedent the mother of the Emperor, i.e., the Empress Dowager (皇太后), usually received the greatest respect in the palace and was the decision maker in most family affairs. At times, especially when a young emperor was on the throne, she was the de facto ruler. The Emperor's children, the princes (皇子) and princesses (公主), were often referred to by their order of birth, e.g., Eldest Prince, Third Princess, etc. The princes were often given titles of peerage once they reached adulthood. The Emperor's brothers and uncles served in court by law, and held equal status with other court officials (子). The Emperor was always elevated above all others despite any chronological or generational superiority.
The Empress of China - References - Netflix