Puyi (The Last Emperor) | Biography & Facts

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Highlights of Puyi:

Occupation Emperor of China
Born February 7, 1906 in Beijing, China
Died October 17, 1967 in Beijing, China
December 2, 1908 to February 12, 1912 and July 1, 1917 to July 12, 1917
known for He was the last emperor of China

Biography of Puyi:

On February 7, 1906, Puyi was born into the Chinese royal family. Princess Youlan was his mother, and Prince Chun was his father. Puyi was raised in the imperial palace and had limited exposure to the outside world.

Child Emperor

When Puyi was made the emperor of China at the age of two, he had no idea what was happening. He shed many tears during the event. Puyi’s four years as emperor were spent having a regent govern China instead of him personally. However, he was treated like an emperor. Everywhere he went, the servants bowed before him and followed his every directive.


China’s populace rose up in rebellion against the Qing Dynasty in 1911. China’s government was replaced by the Republic of China. Puyi was forced to abandon his reign in 1912 and lost all of his authority as a result. Despite having no formal position in the government, the authorities permitted him to retain his title and reside in the Forbidden Palace.

Empire Once More

Puyi was briefly restored to the throne in 1917 by the Chinese warrior Zhang Xun. He only held power for a brief period of time, from July 1 to July 12, as the republican administration rapidly regained power.

Out of the Forbidden City

For many years, Puyi continued to lead a peaceful life in the Forbidden City. Everything changed in 1924 when the Republic of China legally revoked his imperial title. He was compelled to depart the Forbidden City as well. Puyi was now only a typical Chinese citizen.

Ruler of Manchukuo

Puyi relocated to Tianjin, a city under Japanese rule. In 1932, he reached an agreement to rule the Manchukuo nation. Japan ruled over the northern Chinese province of Manchukuo. Puyi was mostly used by the Japanese as a symbol and had little actual authority.

II World War

Puyi was taken prisoner by the Soviet Union when Japan was defeated in World War II in 1945. He was imprisoned by them until 1949, when he was returned to Communist China. Puyi spent the following ten years in prison receiving communist reeducation.

Becoming a Citizen

Puyi was granted full citizenship in the People’s Republic of China in 1959. He started out working as a gardener before transitioning to literary research. In addition, he wrote a life autobiography titled From Emperor to Citizen.


Puyi passed away from renal cancer in 1967.

Interesting Puyi (The Last Emperor) facts

The Xianfeng Emperor, who ruled from 1850 to 1861, was his great-grandfather.

The Last Emperor is a film that chronicles Puyi’s life. Nine Academy Awards were given to it, including Best Picture.

He was known by the title of Xuantong Emperor.

He had no offspring despite his five spouses.

He occasionally used the Western name Henry.

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