Aisin Gioro Puyi, properly known as the Xuantong Emperor, is the monarch of the restored Qing Empire and ostensible de jure ruler of China.
Aisin Gioro Puyi
Aisin Gioro Puyi
Xuantong Emperor of the Great Qing
7th of February, 1906
Qing Empire (China)
The Boy Emperor
Born in his family's home in Beijing, Puyi was chosen as the new Emperor by the Dowager Empress Cixi on the 2nd of December, 1908. It is widely believed that she assassinated his predecessor, the Guangxu Emperor, and chose the young boy to ensure that the control and power of the Manchu nobility would not be threatened. His father Zaifeng, formally Prince Chun, ruled as his regent until the Xinhai Revolution toppled the dynasty. The "Imperial Edict of the Abdication of the Qing Emperor" was signed by the new regent Empress Dowager Longyu (Consort of the Guangxu Emperor) on February 12th, 1912, ending millenia of imperial rule in China- for the time being.
Emperor of Nothing
According to the "Articles of Favourable Treatment of the Great Qing Emperor after His Abdication", Puyi was to retain his title and be treated as befitting a foreign monarch. The Imperial Court kept control of the north half of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. Puyi remained confined in the Forbidden City until he was an adult, the only interruption being General Zhang Xun's "restoration" of the Qing Empire from July 1st to July 12th, 1917. Educated by the Scottish gentleman Sir Reginald Johnston from 1919 to 1924, he became enamored with western ways of life and thinking and resolved to reform the court once he came of age. Almost as soon as he had married his first wife, the Empress Wanrong, the eunuchs and other servants began to loot the palace, culminating in the June 27th, 1923 fire that destroyed the Palace of Established Happiness. Fearing for his life, Puyi expelled the eunuchs from the Forbidden City. He began his reforms by appointing the monarchist administrator Zheng Xiaoxu to run the imperial household, but this was abruptly cut short as events in China at large intruded.