Queen Heonae

Queen Heonae (Hangul: 헌애왕후, Hanja: 獻哀王后) (964 – 20 January 1029), also known as Queen Dowager Cheonchu (천추태후, 千秋太后), was the third Queen consort of King Gyeongjong of Goryeo. She served as regent of Goryeo from 997 to 1009 during the minority of her son, King Mokjong of Goryeo. Her life story was the basis for the drama Empress Cheonchu.

Queen Heonae
Queen consort of Goryeo
Tenure980 – 981
PredecessorQueen Daemok?
SuccessorQueen Mundeok
Queen regent of Goryeo
Tenure997 – 1009
Hwangju, Kingdom of Goryeo
Died20 January 1029(1029-01-20) (aged 64–65)
Sungdeok Palace, Kaesong,
Kingdom of Goryeo
SpouseGyeongjong of Goryeo
Kim Chi-Yang
IssueMokjong of Goryeo
Prince Hwangju
Posthumous name
HouseKaesong Wang
FatherDaejong of Goryeo
MotherQueen Seonui


Early lifeEdit

Queen Heonae was born into the Hwangju branch of the royal house of the Kingdom of Goryeo. Her father, Wang Wook (Hangul: 왕욱, Hanja: 王旭), was the seventh son of King Taejo of Goryeo by his fourth wife, Queen Sinjeong (Hangul: 신정왕후, Hanja: 神靜王后). She had one older brother, Wang Chi, the future King Seongjong of Goryeo, and one younger sister who eventually became the mother of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo. According to the Goryeo-sa, she and her siblings were raised by their paternal grandmother, Queen Sinjeong because their parents died young.

Although a male-line descendant of King Taejo, Queen Heonae did not carry the surname of the Goryeo royal family, Wang (Hangul: 왕, Hanja: 王). Instead, she and her younger sister used the surname Hwangbo (Hangul: 황보, Hanja: 皇甫), which was the surname of their paternal grandmother, Queen Sinjeong.


Queen Heonae married Gyeongjong of Goryeo, her first cousin. She was the sister of King Seongjong of Goryeo, who succeeded her spouse as throne.


When her son, Mokjong of Goryeo became King in 997, she became Regent. However, she contracted a marriage of consent with Kim Chi-yang, and gave birth to a Kim Chi-yang's son. Kim Chi-yang conspired to set his son on the throne.

When Kim Chi-yang burned the Manwoldae, royal palace, to the ground, threatening to kill the King and take over, King Mokjong called General Gang Jo to the capital city of Kaesong. General Gang Jo immediately executed Kim Chi-Yang and his supporters.

Then, the scholar officials, enemies of Gang Jo, spread rumors and lies that the general was planning to take over the government for himself. These rumors reached the King, and he planned to kill Gang Jo. Gang Jo heard of the conspiracy and doubts of the King, and ordered his army to attack and kill all of his enemies, including the king. After assassinating King Mokjong, General Gang placed King Hyeonjong of Goryeo on the throne. Queen Cheonchu was exiled to Hwangju.

Later life and deathEdit

In 1029, she returned to the royal court and died in her chamber at Sungdeok Palace.


  • Father: King Daejong of Goryeo (? – November 969) (고려 대종)[1]
    • Grandfather: King Taejo of Goryeo (31 January 877 – 4 July 943) (고려 태조)
    • Grandmother: Queen Shinjeong of the Hwangju Hwangbo clan (900 – 19 August 983) (신정왕후 황보씨)
  • Mother: Queen Seonui of the Jeongju Ryu clan (선의왕후 유씨)
    • Grandfather: King Taejo of Goryeo (31 January 877 – 4 July 943) (고려 태조)
    • Grandmother: Queen Jeongdeok of the Jeongju Ryu clan (정덕왕후 류씨)
  • Brother: King Seongjong of Goryeo (15 January 961 – 29 November 997) (고려 성종)
  • Sister: Queen Heonjeong of the Hwangju Hwangbo clan (c. 965 – 13 April 993) (헌정왕후 황보씨)
  • Husband: King Gyeongjong of Goryeo (9 November 955 – 13 August 981) (고려 경종)
    • Son: King Mokjong of Goryeo (5 July 980 – 2 March 1009) (고려 목종)
      • Daughter-in-law: Queen Seonjeong of the Chungju Yu clan (선정왕후 유씨)
  • Husband: Kim Chi-Yang (? – 1009) (김치양)
    • Son: Prince Hwangju (1003 – 1009)

In popular cultureEdit


External linksEdit