The Empress Dowager Cixi at court. Cixi, a consort of Emperor Xian Feng (reigned 1850–1861), was a powerful and manipulative force in Qing dynasty politics for nearly half a century. When her son, Xian Feng’s successor, died without an heir, Cixi named her three-year-old nephew Guang Xu (reigned 1875–1908) to the throne.
Through her regency Cixi held power over Qing dynasty political life for almost half a century. She supported officials