Queen Wongyeong

Queen Wongyeong (원경왕후 민씨; 29 July 1365 – 18 August 1420[1]) of the Yeoheung Min clan, was the primary wife of Taejong of Joseon, and the mother of Sejong the Great.

Queen Wongyeong
Queen dowager of Joseon
Tenure9 September 1418 – 18 August 1420
PredecessorQueen Dowager Sundeok
SuccessorQueen Dowager Uideok
Queen consort of Joseon
Tenure10 January 1401 – 9 September 1418
PredecessorQueen Jeongan
SuccessorQueen Soheon
Crown Princess of Joseon
Tenure4 March 1400 – 10 January 1401
PredecessorCrown Princess Kim
Born29 July 1365
Songgyeong, Cheoldong, (now Kaeseong, North Korea) Kingdom of Goryeo
Died18 August 1420 (1420-08-19) (aged 55)
Byeol Hall, Sugang Palace, Hanseong, Kingdom of Joseon
(m. 1382⁠–⁠1420)
Posthumous name
  • 창덕소열원경왕후; 彰德昭烈元敬王后
  • 원경왕태후; 元敬王太后
HouseYeoheung Min
FatherMin Je
MotherLady Samhanguk of the Yeosan Song clan

She was queen consort of Joseon from 1400, and was honored as Queen Jeong (정비) until her husband became King Emeritus of Joseon in 1418 after which she was honoured as Queen Dowager Hudeok (후덕왕대비).


Early lifeEdit

Lady Min was born on 29 July 1365, during King Gongmin of Goryeo’s 14th year of reign, as the third daughter and child within eight siblings, of Min Je from the Yeoheung Min clan and his first wife, Lady Song of the Yeosan Song clan. Her hometown was Kaegyeong or Songgyeong, Cheoldong (modern-day Kaeseong, North Korea).

Through her grandfather, Lady Min eventually became an ascendant to Queen Inhyeon, Princess Consort Min (Heungseon Daewongun’s mother), Grand Internal Princess Consort Sunmok (Heungseon Daewongun’s wife), Empress Myeongseong, and Empress Sunmyeong. She is also a first cousin once removed to Royal Noble Consort Hui-bi of the Paepyeong Yun clan, a Consort of King Chunghye of Goryeo.

She was later arranged to marry the fifth son of Yi Seong-gye and his first wife, Lady Han of the Anbyeon Han clan, Yi Bang-won of the Jeonju Yi clan in 1382 at the age of 17. Ten years later when the Joseon Dynasty was established in 1392, her husband was then given the royal title of Prince Jeongan; making her Princess Jeongnyeong of Joseon at the age of 27.

Because she was the wife of a prince, her mother was given the royal title of "Princess Consort Samhanguk of the Yeosan Song clan" (Hangul: 삼한국대부인, Hanja: 三韓國大夫人), and her father was given the royal title of "Internal Prince Yeoheung, Min Je" (Hangul: 여흥부원군 민제, Hanja: 驪興府院君 閔霽).

Involvement in Royal PoliticsEdit

In 1394, the capital was established from Kaegyeong (modern-day Kaesong) to Hanseong (modern-day Seoul). When the new dynasty was promulgated and officially brought into existence, Taejo brought up the issue of which son would be his successor. Although Taejo's fifth son by Queen Sinui, Yi Bang-won, had contributed most to assisting his father's rise to power, he harbored a profound hatred against two of his father's key allies in the court, the prime minister Jeong Do-jeon and Nam Eun.

In 1398, Jeong Do-jeon, who was enjoying great power at the time, enforced the Enforcement Breakdown Act and returned all the private soldiers and weapons to the state, but Lady Min had hid the weapons and private soldiers, that belonged to her family, in her house. Shortly after Taejo fell ill, the Min clan took advantage of this opportunity to give the weaponry and resources to Yi Bang-won to which Lady Min tried to encourage his coup.[2]

Yi Bang-won then rose up with his brother-in-laws, Min Mu-gu and Min Mu-jil, and immediately revolted and raided the palace, killing Jeong Do-jeon, his followers, and the two sons of the late Queen Sindeok, Grand Prince Uian and Yi Bang-beon.

This incident became known as the First Strife of Princes. Aghast at the fact that his sons were willing to kill each other for the crown, and psychologically exhausted from the death of his second wife, King Taejo immediately crowned his second son Yi Bang-gwa, later King Jeongjong, as the new ruler.

In early 1400, the Second Strife of Princes happened where Yi Bang-gan, Prince Hoean, the elder brother of the prince, launched an attack on Prince Jeongan. With Prince Jeongan, Lady Min and her family fought to bring down Prince Hoean and his supporters.[2]

On 4 March 1400, King Jeongjong pronounced his brother Yi Bang-won as heir presumptive and voluntarily abdicated. Which changed her royal title from Princess Consort Jeongnyeong to Crown Princess Consort Jeong of the Yeoheung Min clan (정빈 민씨), and was eventually given the royal title of Queen Consort Jeong of Joseon (정비, 靜妃; Jeongbi meaning Serene Consort)[3] on 10 January 1401. Thus becoming the Queen Consort of King Taejong of Joseon, the third king of Joseon.

Queen Jeong is described as smart and ambitious and with an astute political ambition, who frequently intervened in state affairs.[4] She assisted her spouse in his way to the throne and convinced him to appoint their eldest son Yangnyeong as crown prince.[4] When he replaced their son as crown prince with his younger brother, Queen Jeong was enraged and her interference finally resulted in King Taejong executing her younger brothers in order to keep her and her family's ambition in check.[4]

Exile and Death of FamilyEdit

In 1406, Taejong had brought up the topic of abdicating but withdrew his statement later on. In the process, the Queen’s eldest younger brothers Min Mu-gu and Min Mu-jil had voiced that they were very pleased with the news of Taejong’s abdication, which caused the two men to be exiled to Jeju Island, where they were later killed in 1410. In 1408, Min Je, the Queen’s father, who had a hard time coping with the exile of his sons, died that same year.

It was during these times that the Queen’s relationship with her husband was worsening due to the concubines he brought to the palace. It worsened a lot more when Queen Jeong didn’t tell Taejong about the birth of their daughter, Princess Jeongseon, in 1404. It has been said that her attitude was why the king avoided her living quarters.

8 years later, in 1416, the Queen’s remaining younger brothers, Min Mu-hyul and Min Mu-hoe, had stated that Crown Prince Je (Grand Prince Yangnyeong), her eldest son, would take great care of their family as he and their family shared a close family relationship. Word spread and reached Taejong who saw it as a threat, which once again brought the brothers to be exiled and die by suicide poisoning. But it is also said that rumors had spread that Queen Jeong had abused Taejong's concubine Royal Noble Hyo of the Cheongpung Kim and her son Prince Gyeongnyeong.[2] In anger, Taejong exiled Min Mu-hyeol and Min Mu-hoe nearby the sea breeze and hung them to death nearby rather than dethroning Queen Jeong from her position.[5]

Later lifeEdit

In 1418, her husband abdicated and gave the throne to their third son, Sejong of Joseon, but continued to rule with an iron fist for 3 years, deciding important matters and executing his son’s father-in-law Sim On in 1419 and two uncle-in-law’s in 1418.

Thus becoming Queen Dowager Hudeok while her husband became King Emeritus of Joseon. Her reign as Queen Dowager did not last long as it only lasted for 2 years from 9 September 1418 to her death; almost hitting the 3rd year.

Queen Dowager Hudeok, who made her husband king, but whose brothers were purged in return, died on 18 August 1420 at the age of 56 in Byeol Hall, Sugang Palace. King Taejong outlived her by two years and are buried together within Heonreung in Seoul, Seocho District.

It’s said that within the queens who were involved in Joseon Dynasty politics, Queen Wongyeong, along with Queen Munjeong, Queen Myeongseong, and Empress Myeongseong, were considered the most political, bold and broad-minded Queens.


The Queen is the 7th generation descendant of Min Yeong-mo; who is the founder of the Yeoheung Min clan.

Queen Wongyeong’s grandfather’s older brother, Min Yu, eventually became the 12th great-grandfather of Queen Inhyeon and the 17th great-grandfather to Empress Myeongseong. As well as her grandfather’s younger sister, her grand-aunt, was also the mother of Royal Consort Hui-bi of the Paepyeong Yun clan.

Royal Noble Consort Hyo of the Cheongpung Kim clan was originally one of Queen Jeong's servants at the Min household before she became a concubine for King Taejong, and Royal Consort Sin of the Yeongwol Sin clan was also originally one of Queen Jeong's retinue of assistant court ladies at the palace before becoming a concubine.



  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Ching-do (민칭도, 閔稱道)[6]
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Se-hyeong (민세형, 閔世衡)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Ui (민의, 閔懿)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Yeong-mo (민영모, 閔令謨) (1115 - 1194)[7]
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Bae (배씨)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Gong-gyu (민공규, 閔公珪)
  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min In-gyun (민인균, 閔仁鈞)
  • Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Hwang (민황, 閔滉)
  • Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Min Jong-yu (민종유, 閔宗儒) (1245 - 27 May 1324)
  • Great-Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Yu (유씨, 兪氏)
  • Great-Grandfather
    • Min Jeok (민적, 閔頔) (1269 - 4 March 1335)
  • Great-Grandmother
    • Lady Won (원씨); Min Jeok’s second wife
  • Grandfather
    • Min Byeon (민변, 閔忭) (? - May 1377)[8][9][10]
  • Grandmother
  • Father
    • Min Je, Duke Mundo, Internal Prince Yeoheung (민제 여흥부원군 문도공, 閔霽 文度公 驪興府院君) (1339 - 1408)[11]
      • Uncle - Min Ryang (민량, 閔亮) (? - 1408)
      • Aunt - Lady Min of the Yeoheung Min clan (여흥 민씨)
        • Uncle - Gwak Chu (곽추, 郭樞) of the Cheongju Gwak clan (1338 - 1405)
          • Cousin - Gwak Woon (곽운, 郭惲)
          • Cousin - Lady Gwak of the Cheongju Gwak clan (청주 곽씨)
            • Cousin-in-law - Kim Yang-nam (김양남, 金揚南)
          • Cousin - Lady Gwak of the Cheongju Gwak clan (청주 곽씨)
            • Cousin-in-law - Kim Yuk (김육, 金育)
          • Cousin - Lady Gwak of the Cheongju Gwak clan (청주 곽씨)
            • Cousin-in-law - Bong Ahn-guk (봉안국, 奉安國) (1383 - ?)
      • Uncle - Min Gae (민개, 閔開) (1360 - 1396)
  • Mother
    • Princess Consort Samhanguk of the Yeosan Song clan (삼한국대부인 여산 송씨, 三韓國大夫人 礪山 宋氏) (1342 - 1424); Min Je’s first wife
      • Grandfather - Song Seon (송선, 宋璿)
      • Grandmother - Lady Ha of the Dalseong Ha clan (달성 하씨, 達城 河氏)
    • Stepmother - Lady Yi of the Yangseong Yi clan (양성 이씨, 陽城 李氏)


2 older sisters, 4 younger brothers, and 1 younger sister:

  • Older sister — Lady Min (여흥 민씨)
    • Brother-in-law - Jo Pak (조박,趙璞) (1356 - 1408) of the Pyeongyang Jo clan (평양 조씨, 平壤 趙氏)[12]
      • Nephew - Jo Shin-eon (조신언, 趙愼言)
  • Older sister — Princess Consort Samhanguk of the Yeoheung Min clan (삼한국대부인 여흥 민씨)
    • Brother-in-law - Yi Cheon-woo, Prince Wansan (이천우 완산군, 李天祐 完山君) (1354 - 1417); King Taejong’s older half-cousin
      • Nephew — Yi Gwing, Prince Yeoyang (이굉 여양군, 李宏)
        • Niece-in-law - Lady Kim of the Gyeongju Kim clan (경주 김씨); Queen Jeongan’s younger sister
      • Nephew - Yi Wan, Prince Yeoseong (여성군 이완)
      • Nephew - Yi Seon, Prince Yeoheung (여흥군 이선)
  • Younger brother — Min Mu-gu, Prince Yeogang (여강군 민무구, 閔無咎) (? - 17 March 1410)
    • Nephew — Min Chu (민추)
      • Unnamed grandnephew; son of a commoner concubine
  • Younger brother — Min Mu-jil, Prince Yeoseong (여성군 민무질, 閔無疾) (? - 17 March 1410)
    • Sister-in-law - Lady Han of the Cheongju Han clan (정경부인 청주 한씨); daughter of Han Sang-hwan (한상환)
      • Nephew — Min Chok (민촉)
        • Grandnephew - Min Yeon-eun (민연은)
        • Grandnephew - Min Gi (민기)
        • Grandnephew - Min Hong (민홍)
        • Grandnephew - Min Seob (민섭)
      • Nephew — Min Sam (민삼)
        • Grandnephew - Min Hui-nyeom (민희념)
          • Great-Grandnephew - Min Byeon (민변)
          • Great-Grandnephew - Min Mu (민무)
            • Great-Great-Grandnephew - Min Eung-jeong (민응정)
              • Great-Great-Great-Grandnephew - Min Hyeob (민협)
                • Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandnephew - Min Jung-ui (민종의)
      • Nephew — Min Bun (민분)
        • Grandnephew - Min Oh (민오)
      • Niece — Lady Min (민씨)
      • Niece — Lady Min (민씨)
      • Niece — Lady Min (민씨)
  • Younger brother — Min Mu-hyul, Prince Yeowon (여원군 민무휼, 閔無恤) (? - 13 January 1416)
    • Sister-in-law - Lady Lee of the Ugye Lee clan (우계 이씨, 羽溪 李氏) or Lady Yi of the Seongju Yi clan (성주 이씨)
      • Niece — Lady Min (여흥 민씨)
        • Nephew-in-law - Sim Jun (심준, 沈濬); Queen Soheon’s younger brother
          • Grandnephew - Sim Mi (심미)
          • Grandnephew - Sim Chi (심치)
            • Grandniece-in-law - Lady Kim of the Suncheon Kim clan (순천 김씨)[13]
      • Niece — Lady Min (여흥 민씨)
  • Younger brother: Min Mu-hoe, Prince Yeosan (여산군 민무회, 閔無悔) (? - 1416)
    • Nephew — Min Noe (민뇌)
    • Niece — Lady Min (여흥 민씨)
  • Younger sister — Lady Min (여흥 민씨)
    • Brother-in-law - No Han (노한, 盧閈) of the Gyoha No clan (교하 노씨, 交河 盧氏) (1376 - 1443)[14]
      • Nephew — No Mul-jae (노물재, 盧物栽) (1396 - 1446)
        • Niece-in-law - Lady Sim of the Cheongsong Sim clan; Queen Soheon’s second younger sister



4 daughters and 8 sons:

  • Princess Jeongsun (정순공주, 貞順公主) (1385 - 1460)[15][16][17]
  • Princess Gyeongjeong (경정공주, 慶貞公主) (1387 - 20 June 1455)[18][19]
  • Unnamed grand prince (대군)[20]
  • Unnamed grand prince (대군)[20]
  • Unnamed grand prince (대군)[20]
  • Princess Gyeongan (경안공주, 慶安公主) (1393 - 22 April 1415)[21]
  • Yi Je, Grand Prince Yangnyeong (이제 양녕대군, 李禔 讓寧大君) (1394 - 7 September 1462)
  • Yi Bo, Grand Prince Hyoryeong (이보 효령대군, 李補 孝寧大君) (6 January 1396 - 12 June 1486)
  • Yi Do, King Sejong the Great (세종대왕) (7 May 1397 - 30 March 1450)
  • Princess Jeongseon (정선공주, 貞善公主) (1404 - 25 January 1424)[22][23][24][25]
  • Yi Jong, Grand Prince Seongnyeong (이종 성녕대군, 李褈 誠寧大君) (3 August 1405 - 11 March 1418)[26][27]
  • Unnamed grand prince (대군) (1412 - 1412)

Popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In lunar calendar, the Queen was born on 11 July 1365 and died on 10 July 1420
  2. ^ a b c "Royal Ladies of Joseon Dynasty". The Talking Cupboard. 5 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ muchadoboutlove (2020-11-09). "Royal Titles of Joseon Consorts". the talking cupboard. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  4. ^ a b c Yi, Pae-yong (2008). Women in Korean History 한국 역사 속의 여성들. ISBN 9788973007721.
  5. ^ 조선왕조실록에는 스스로 목숨을 끊었다고 기록되어 있다 (Translation: In the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, it is recorded that he took his own life)
  6. ^ The progenitor of the Yeoheung Min clan
  7. ^ The founder of the Yeoheung Min clan
  8. ^ His younger sister married Yun Gye-jong (윤계종, 尹繼宗) (? - 1346) and had 2 children (a son and a daughter). Her daughter became Royal Consort Hee-bi of the Papyeong Yun clan (a consort of King Chunghye of Goryeo). Royal Consort Hui-bi eventually became an ascendant to Queen Jeonghui, Queen Jeonghyeon, Queen Janggyeong and Yun Im, and Queen Munjeong and Yun Won-hyeong
  9. ^ His older brother, Min Yu (민유, 閔愉), eventually became an ancestor to Queen Inhyeon, Empress Myeongseong, and Empress Sunmyeong
  10. ^ His brother, Min Sa-pyeong, became the great-grandfather of Royal Noble Consort Myeong and the great-great-grandfather of Crown Princess Hwi
  11. ^ His cousin Lady Min, married the grandfather of Royal Noble Consort Myeong (the concubine of King Taejong) and the great-grandfather of Crown Princess Hwi (the consort of King Munjong)
  12. ^ He is an 8th cousin of Princess Gyeongseong’s husband
  13. ^ She is the granddaughter of Kim Jong-seo
  14. ^ His grandfather is the father of Royal Consort Sun-bi, the wife of King Gongyang
  15. ^ Married Yi Baek-kang (이백강, 李伯剛) of the Cheongju Yi clan (청주 이씨, 淸州 李氏) (1381 - 1451), and had 1 daughter, Lady Yi of the Cheongju Yi clan (정경부인 청주 이씨, 貞敬夫人 淸州 李氏). Their daughter eventually married Yi Saek’s grandson, Yi Gye-rin (이계린, 李季疄) (1401 - 1455).
  16. ^ She was honored as Princess Cheongpyeong (청평군궁주, 淸平君宮主) and Princess Jeongshin (정신궁주, 定愼宮主)
  17. ^ Yi Baek-kang (이백강, 李伯剛) of the Cheongju Yi clan (청주 이씨, 淸州 李氏) (1381 - 1451) is the brother-in-law of Princess Gyeongshin; the daughter of Queen Sinui and King Taejo
  18. ^ Honored as Princess Pyeongyang (평양군 궁주) and Princess Jeonggyeong (정경공주, 貞慶公主)
  19. ^ Married Jo Dae-rim (조대림, 趙大臨) (1387 - 1430) of the Pyeongyang Jo clan (평양 조씨(平壤 趙氏), and had 5 children (4 daughters and 1 son).
  20. ^ a b c The princes are speculated to be born within 1388 to 1392 as they are the older brothers of Grand Prince Yangnyeong (born 1394), they were born before Princess Gyeongan (born 1393).
  21. ^ Married Gwon Gyu (권규, 權跬) (1393 - 1421) of the Andong Gwon clan, and had 3 children (2 sons, 1 daughter). Her husband is the paternal uncle of Gwon Ram
  22. ^ Married Nam Hui ( 남휘, 南暉) (? - 1454) of the Uiryeong Nam clan (의령 남씨, 宜寧 南氏) in 1416, and had 2 children (1 son, 1 daughter).
  23. ^ Through her son, Nam Bin (남빈, 南份), her grandson, Nam Yi (남이, 南怡) (1443 - 11 November 1468), married the 3rd daughter of Gwon Ram (a nephew-in-law of her older sister, Princess Gyeongan)
  24. ^ Her daughter, Lady Nam of the Uiryeong Nam clan (의령 남씨, 宜寧 南氏), married Sin Ja-seung (신자승, 申自繩) and eventually became the ascendants to Sin Saimdang and Yi Yi.
  25. ^ Honored as Princess Jeongseon (정선궁주, 貞善宮主)
  26. ^ Married Princess Consort Samhanguk of the Changnyeong Seong clan (삼한국대부인 창녕 성씨, 三韓國大夫人 昌寧成氏), and had no issue. His two adoptive sons Yi Yong, Grand Prince Anpyeong (안평대군 용, 安平大君 瑢) is King Sejong’s 3rd son. And Yi Ui, Prince Woncheon, Lord Ando (원천군 안도공 의, 原川君 安悼公 宜) is the 6th son of Grand Prince Hyoryeong.
  27. ^ Died at the age of 13 from smallpox or measles

External linksEdit

Queen Wongyeong
Royal titles
Preceded by
Queen Deok (Jeongan)
of the Gyeongju Kim clan
Queen consort of Joseon
1400 – 9 September 1418
Succeeded by
Queen Gong (Soheon)
of the Cheongseong Sim clan
Preceded by
Queen Dowager Sundeok (Jeongan)
of the Gyeongju Kim clan
Queen dowager of Joseon
9 September 1418 – 18 August 1420
Succeeded by
Queen Dowager Uideok (Jeongsun)
of the Yeosan Song clan