Queen Jeongsun (Danjong)

Queen Jeongsun (Hangul:정순왕후 송씨, Hanja:定順王后 宋氏) (1440 – 7 July 1521[1]), of the Yeosan Song clan, was a posthumous name bestowed to the wife and queen consort of Yi Hong-wi, King Danjong, the 6th Joseon monarch. She was queen consort of Joseon from 1454 until her husband's abdication in 1455, after which she was honoured as Queen Dowager Uideok (의덕왕대비) until her deposition in 1457.

Queen Jeongsun
Queen dowager of Joseon
Tenure11 June 1455 – 1457
PredecessorQueen Dowager Hudeok
SuccessorQueen Dowager Jaseong
Queen consort of Joseon
Tenure19 February 1454 – 11 June 1455
PredecessorQueen Soheon
SuccessorQueen Jeonghui
Taein-myeon (now Chilbo-myeon), Jeongeup-gun, Jeollabok Province, Kingdom of Joseon
Died7 July 1521(1521-07-07) (aged 80–81)
Kingdom of Joseon
Sareung, 107 Sareung-ri, Jingeon-eup, Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province
SpouseYi Hong-wi, King Danjong (m.1454; d.1457)
Posthumous name
HouseYeosan Song
FatherSong Hyeon-Su
MotherInternal Princess Consort Yeoheung of the Yeoheung Min clan


Early lifeEdit

Lady Song was born in Jeongeup in 1440 into the Yeosan Song clan to Song Hyeon-su and his wife, Lady Min of the Yeoheung Min clan. Through her mother, Queen Jangsun and Queen Gonghye are her first cousins once removed, and is distantly related to Queen Jeonghyeon. Her cousin, Princess Gilan, eventually became the great-great-grandmother of Queen Inheon, the wife of Wonjong of Joseon and mother of King Injo of Joseon. When she was young, she followed her father Song Hyeon-Su and moved to Hanseong.

Her paternal aunt, Princess Consort Daebang, was the second wife of Prince Yeongeung who was the 8th son of Queen Soheon and King Sejong. Her aunt was later known to have an affair with a Buddhist monk and former governor of Gunjangsa Temple at the time, Hakjo (학조, 學祖; 1431-1514), real name Kim Yeong-hyeong (김영형, 金永衡) of the (new) Andong Kim clan, after her husband died. She was later executed in 1507 for committing adultery.

Lady Song’s character was described as polite and modest.


In 1454, there was a selection (Gantaek) made for the future Queen Consort of Joseon. Lady Song was later sent a letter stating that she was chosen among the girls to become the king's consort.

On 19 February 1454 (January 22; lunar calendar), she married Yi Hong-wi (temple name: Danjong), the 6th Joseon monarch who was one year younger, when she was fifteen. As the king's primary consort, she was appointed as queen consort. Danjong was too young to rule the kingdom, and all political processes were controlled by the Chief State Councillor Hwangbo In and General Kim Jong-seo, who was Left State Councillor.

As Kim Jong-seo and his faction used the chance to extend the power of court officials against many royal family members, the tension between Kim and Grand Prince Suyang (King Sejong's son and King Danjong's uncle) greatly increased; not only Suyang himself, but his younger brother, Grand Prince Anpyeong, also sought an opportunity to take control of the kingdom.


In 1455, Suyang forced his powerless king to abdicate, declaring himself seventh king of the Joseon dynasty (temple name: Sejo). As wife of the King Emeritus, the Queen received title wangdaebi (왕대비), usually translated in English as 'queen dowager', with honorary name Uideok.

The following year, six officials of the court or sayuksin attempted to restore Hong-wi to power, but their plot was discovered and they were immediately executed. The King Emeritus was later demoted to Prince Nosan (노산군, 魯山君) and exiled to Yeongwol County. His wife also lost her status as queen dowager, was demoted to princess consort rank (titled as Princess Consort Nosan; 노산군부인), and kicked out of the palace. She had a difficult life from then on. When returning back, her parents' home was already destroyed, so she resorted to helping the palace maids with the dyeing business to survive.

At this time, Lady Song wasn't entitled to be given food rations from the royal family. It was said that the women in her neighborhood pitied her and, without getting permission from the government, made an arrangement for Lady Song to use the rations and supplies.[2]

Perceiving that Prince Nosan would present a continuing threat to the King's rule, the King then accepted the advice of the court and ordered that Prince Nosan be disposed of. In 1457, he was put to death at his place of exile. Yeongdo-gyo (영도교, 永渡橋) in Cheonggyecheon is said to be the last place where Prince Nosan and his wife, who were going back home, meet and separated.

After hearing of her husband's death, Lady Song climbed a large rock every morning and evening, wailing toward Yeongwol, praying for the soul of his husband. The king later stated that Lady Song was to "be a slave, but not allow her to serve as a slave".

Because she couldn't do anything or much of the matter, Lady Song was sent to live in Jeongeobwon (정업원) so that no one could commit it. Jeongeobwon was the official royal convent where concubines or wives of royals who lost their spouse or were deposed of, went out of the palace, and spent the rest of their lives in. But it also served as a place of political exile for disgraced women to live a religious and non-political life.[3] Princess Gyeonghye also served some time here before dying in 1473.

During King Seongjong’s and King Yeonsangun’s reigns, when Song-geo, the younger brother of the Queen, was unable to advance to a public office position due to his father's sins, Song asked Seongjong to make an exception. In the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, there are records that Seongjong and Yeonsangun bestowed slaves, rice, and linens to the Song clan several times.

Death and Posthumous titleEdit

The Queen died on 7 July 1521 at the age of 80-81; outliving her husband by 64 years, and living through her uncle-in-law King Sejo's reign to her first cousin thrice removed-in-law King Jungjong's reign.

She is buried in Sareung where the tomb is located in Jingeon-eup, Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province.

There was an attempt to honor the late king and Queen during Jungjong's reign, but he rejected the proposal. It wasn't until the 24th year of reign of King Sukjong, that scholars Song Si-yeol and Kim Su-hang repeatedly proposed that both the deposed Queen and King's title be restored. In 1698, the demoted Prince Nosan was posthumously restored, receiving the temple name of "Danjong" and his wife given the posthumous name Queen Jeongsun.



  • Father − Song Hyeon-Su (1417 – 21 October 1457) (송현수, 宋玹壽)
    • a) Grandfather − Song Bok-Won (1390 – 1454) (송복원)
      • b) Great-Grandfather − Song Gye-seong (송계성, 宋繼性) (1369 - 1438)
        • c) Great-Great-Grandfather − Song Hui (송희, 宋禧) (1342 - 1425)
        • c) Great-Great-Grandmother − Lady Kim of the Uiseong Kim clan (의성 김씨, 義城 金氏)
      • b) Great-Grandmother − Lady of the Sangju Kim clan (증 숙부인 상주 김씨, 贈 叔夫人 尙州 金氏)
    • a) Grandmother − Lady Kim of the Suncheon Kim clan (증 정부인 순천 김씨, 贈 貞夫人 順天 金氏)
    • Uncle − Song Kang-su (송강수, 宋玒壽)
    • Uncle − Song Jeong-su (송정수, 宋玎壽)
      • Aunt - Lady Park (박씨, 朴氏)
        • Cousin − Song Yeong (송영, 宋瑛) (? - 1495)
    • Aunt − Princess Consort Daebang (대방부부인 송씨, 帶方府夫人 宋氏) (1434 - 1507); Prince Yeongeung's second wife
      • Uncle - Yi Yeom, Prince Yeongeung (영응대군 이염, 永膺大君 李琰) (23 May 1434 - 2 February 1467)[4][5]
        • Cousin − Yi Eok-cheon, Princess Gilan (길안현주 이억천, 吉安縣主 李億千) (1457 - 1519)
          • Cousin-in-law - Gu Soo-yeong (구수영, 具壽永) (1456 - 1523)[6][7]
            • First cousin - Gu Sung-gyeong (구숭경, 具崇璟)[8]
            • First cousin - Gu Hui-gyeong (구희경, 具希璟)[9]
            • First cousin - Gu Seung-gyeong (구승경, 具承璟)
            • First cousin - Princess Consort Myeoncheon of the Neungseong Gu clan (면천군부인 구씨, 沔川郡夫人 具氏) (1480 - 1556)[10]
            • First cousin - Gu Mun-gyeong (구문경, 具文璟) (1492 - ?)[11]
            • First cousin - Gu Shin-gyeong (구신경, 具信璟)
            • First cousin - Gu Sun-bok (구순복, 具順福), Lady Gu of the Neungseong Gu clan (능성 구씨, 綾城 具氏)[12]
            • First cousin - Lady Gu (구씨)
            • First cousin - Lady Gu (구씨)
            • First cousin - Lady Gu (구씨)
  • Mother − Internal Princess Consort Yeoheung of the Yeoheung Min clan (1418 – 1498) (여흥부부인 여흥 민씨, 驪興府大夫人 驪興 閔氏)[13]
    • Grandfather − Min So-Saeng (민소생, 閔紹生)[14]
    • Grandmother − Lady Gu of the Neungseong Gu clan (증 정부인 능성 구씨, 贈 貞夫人 綾城具氏)


  • Younger brother − Song Geo (송거, 宋琚) (1449 - 1541)


  • King Danjong of Joseon (9 August 1441 – 7 November 1457) (조선 단종)
    • Father-in-law: King Munjong (문종, 文宗) (1414 - 1452)
    • Mother-in-law: Queen Hyeondeok of the Andong Gwon clan (현덕왕후 권씨, 顯德王后 權氏) (1418 - 1441)
    • Sister-in-law: Princess Gyeonghye (경혜공주, 敬惠公主) (1437 - 1473). Husband: Jeong Jong (정종, 鄭悰) (? - 1461) of the Haeju Jeong clan (해주 정씨, 海州 鄭氏)[15]
      • Nephew: Jeong Mi-su (정미수, 鄭眉壽) (1456 - 1512)

In Popular CultureEdit



  • Portrayed by Eom Aeng-ran in the 1956 film The Tragedy of King Danjong
  • Portrayed by Jeon Gye-hyeon in the 1963 film The Tragedy of King Danjong


  1. ^ In lunar calendar, the Queen died on 4 June 1521
  2. ^ "Royal Ladies of Joseon Dynasty". the talking cupboard. 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  3. ^ "Forgotten story of Princess Gyeonghye". m.koreatimes.co.kr. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  4. ^ Prince Yeongeung's first wife, Princess Consort Chunseong of the Haeju Jeong clan (춘성부부인 정씨, 春城府夫人 海州 鄭氏), is the older sister of Princess Gyeonghye's husband.
  5. ^ He is the 8th son of Queen Soheon and King Sejong
  6. ^ Princess Gilan's and Gu Soo-yeong's son eventually married Princess Hwishin, a daughter of Queen Shin and King Yeosangun.
  7. ^ Through his eldest daughter Gu Soon-bok (구순복), his granddaughter, Lady Im of the Pungcheon Im clan, eventually married Queen Shin's nephew, Shin Hong-jo (신홍조, 愼弘祚)
  8. ^ Married a daughter of Yun Bo (윤보, 尹甫) and Lady Yi of the Jeonju Yi clan; Yun was the paternal grandfather of Queen Janggyeong and Yun Im. Lady Yi was the great-granddaughter of King Taejong and Queen Wongyeong thru their son Grand Prince Hyoryeong
  9. ^ Married Queen Shin’s niece and Queen Dangyeong’s cousin. Gu’s eldest son married Princess Hyosun; King Jungjong’s daughter, and his second son became the father of Queen Inheon; mother of King Injo.
  10. ^ She married Yi Hang, Prince Ahnyang (안양군 이항; 1480 - 1505) who was the son of King Seongjong and Royal Consort Gwi-in of the Chogye Jeong clan
  11. ^ Married Princess Hwishin
  12. ^ Married Im Sa-hong's second son, Im Hui-jae
  13. ^ Lady Min is a cousin of Queen Jangsun's and Queen Gonghye's mother
  14. ^ He is the maternal granduncle of Queen Jangsun and Queen Gonghye
  15. ^ His older sister, Princess Consort Chunseong of the Haeju Jeong clan (춘성부부인 정씨, 春城府夫人 海州 鄭氏), is the first wife of Prince Yeonggeung

External linksEdit

Queen Jeongsun (Danjong)
Yeosan Song clan
Royal titles
Preceded by
Queen Gong (Soheon)
of the Cheongseong Sim clan
Queen consort of Joseon
1454 – 1455
Succeeded by
Queen Jeonghui
of the Papyeong Yun clan
Preceded by
Queen Dowager Hudeok (Wongyeong)
of the Yeoheung Min clan
Queen dowager of Joseon
1455 – 1457
Succeeded by
Queen Dowager Jaseong (Jeonghui)
of the Papyeong Yun clan