Tranh minh hoạ Nghi Thiên Chương Hoàng hậu khi còn trẻ (by Jessie Hoang).
Empress Nghi Thiên Chương (儀天章皇后) or Empress Dowager Từ Dụ (慈裕皇太后) was the wife of Emperor Nguyễn Hiến Tổ Thiệu Trị, mother of Emperor Nguyễn Dực Tông Tự Đức. Her given name was Hằng (姮), her appellations were Nguyệt (月),Thường (嫦) or Hào (浩). She was born in May 19th, in the year of Canh Ngọ (or June 20th, 1810), from the family of Phạm Đăng thị (范登氏) in Gò Quy, Gò Công village, Tân Hòa district, Gia Định province (now is Tiền Giang province). She was the eldest daughter of the Emperor’s Right-hand Phạm Đăng Hưng, who was also the Head of the Lễ Minister at the time (in charge of education and foreign affairs). Her Highness was well-known as a kind and virtuous person, a high-born, and raised her children very well. She reigned as the most righteous and noble empress in the Nguyen Dynasty for 55 years.
Photo: Illustration of the Empress at a young age (by Jessie Hoang)
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