Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Confidant and Curse of the Royal Harem Connection

Here’s how Curse of the Royal Harem connects with The Confidant.

Sunny Chan was the Daoguang (道光) Emperor in COTRH. Jessica Hsuan was his (third) Empress. She bore a son, which was still an infant in COTRH. Nancy Wu was a concubine of Sunny and died in a fire in COTRH. 

In reality, Nancy's character outlived Jessica and was named Sunny’s fourth Empress. One of her sons is Prince Gong (恭親王), portrayed by KK Cheung in The Confidant.
-     Nancy is a palace maid in The Confidant.
-      In COTRH, KK was the loyal eunuch of Gigi Wong (Sunny’s step-mother). He committed suicide alongside Gigi.
-     Prince Gong is a character made popular by Chinese drama Sigh of His Highness.

At age 19, Jessica’s son succeeds his father Daoguang (Sunny) and becomes the Xianfeng () Emperor. Among Xianfeng’s wives are Ci’an (Magie Siu) and Cixi (Michelle Yim). These two become Empress Dowagers upon Xianfeng’s death.

Oscar Leung is Michelle’s son and succeeds his father Xianfeng (Jessica’s son) as the Tongzhi () Emperor at age 5. He marries Natalie Tong, a relative of Ci’an (Maggie).
-     KK’s Prince Gong is the uncle of Oscar.
-     I assume most of The Confidant takes place during Oscar’s reign.

Tongzi (Oscar) dies childless at age 19 and the throne was passed to his 4 year-old cousin, the Guangxu () Emperor. Guangxu was the nephew of Cixi (Michelle), which was why she chose him as successor.
-     Guangxu’s father is the 1st Prince Chun, 7th son of Daoguang (Sunny).
-     Imperial convention requires that the throne be passed from one generation to the next, but Tongzhi (Oscar) and Guangxu were cousins of the same generation. Thus, in legal terms, Guangxu was named as successor of Xianfeng’s (Jessica’s son) throne, not Oscar's.

Guangxu was controlled by Cixi for his entire reign, dying just one day before her. Some say he was actually poisoned by her. He is succeeded by his 3 year-old nephew Puyi, the Xuantong () Emperor, also the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty. 

Confusing? Maybe a diagram will help.

As an aside, in connection to an earlier Qing Dynasty drama, Life and Times of a Sentinel, two emperors were portrayed in that series. Sunny Chan was the Shunzhi () Emperor and Power Chan was his son and successor, the Kangxi () Emperor. Daoguang (Sunny in COTRH) is the direct descendant of these two emperors.
-    In The Confidant, Power is the personal eunuch of Oscar, the Tongzhi Emperor.  


  1. whoaaaa this is super interesting!! amazing how you were able to organize everything and figure out the family lines! great job! i've always had a an interest in chinese history but could never remember all the names and dates hahah and watching tvb ancient series would just make me more confused. this definitely helped! :) thanks!

  2. just a suggestion you should incorporate WAR AND BEAUTY into this character chart cause they come before COTRH and leads right into it. :D

    1. I thought about doing that but I also wanted to save it for when War and Beauty II airs. Anyhow, the Jiaqing Emperor (嘉慶) in War and Beauty is the father of Duoguang (Sunny in COTRH). Maybe one day I can do an extended chart from all TVB series.

    2. DirecTV has cancelled Jade World and TVB on 11-18. These are arguably the most popular Cantonese stations. Dish Network is carrying TVB and Jade World so call 877-342-2104 to get signed up today (^_^)

  3. after kangxi is qianlong then yongzheng, u can watch Gong where yongzheng fights for his throne.

    1. It's actually Yongzheng before Qianlong. I haven't watched Gong yet I'm sure it's an interesting watch :)

  4. WOW! Haven't seen the series yet! Haha! A bit slow on that!
    Didn't know there were connection in TVB series during this period!
    I really like the Curse of the Royal Harem storyline, so I'm guessing this must be better?!