Concubines who gave birth to male offspring were elevated to imperial consorts, with the empress at the top of the pecking order.

For Forbidden City concubines in imperial China, beauty was more of a curse than a blessing

  • A select group of concubines was tasked to bear children for the emperor – as many as he could father
  • Most would spend their lives in bitter loneliness and, unsurprisingly, jealousy was rife
Topic |   Infographics

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Concubines who gave birth to male offspring were elevated to imperial consorts, with the empress at the top of the pecking order.
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