(simplified Chinese: 溥仪; traditional Chinese: 溥儀; pinyin: Pǔ yí
) (7 February 1906 – 17 October 1967), of the Manchu Aisin Gioro ruling family, was the last Emperor of China. He ruled in two periods between 1908 and 1917, firstly as the Xuantong Emperor
(宣統皇帝) from 1908 to 1912, and nominally as a non-ruling puppet emperor for twelve days in 1917. He was the twelfth and final member of the Qing Dynasty to rule over China proper.
He was married to the Empress Gobulo Wan Rong under the suggestion of the Imperial Dowager Concubine Duan-Kang. Later, between 1934 and 1945, he was the Kangde Emperor
(康德皇帝) of Manchukuo. In the People's Republic of China, he was a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1964 until his death in 1967. His abdication was a symbol of the end of a long era in China, and he is widely known as The Last Emperor
(末代皇帝). However Yuan Shikai, the first President of the Republic of China later claimed the title of "Emperor of China".
In English, he is known more simply as Puyi
in Wade-Giles romanization), which is in accordance with the Manchu tradition of never using an individual's clan name and given name together, but is in complete contravention of the traditional Chinese and Manchu custom whereby the private given name of an emperor was considered taboo and ineffable. It may be that the use of the given name Puyi after the overthrow of the empire was thus a political technique, an attempt to express desecration of the old order. After Puyi lost his imperial title in 1924 he was officially styled "Mr. Puyi" (溥儀先生 Pǔyí Xiānsheng
) in China. His clan name Aisin-Gioro was seldom used. He is also known to have used the name "Henry"¹, a name chosen with his English language teacher, Scotsman Reginald Johnston. However, the name Henry was merely used in communication with Westerners between 1920 and 1932, and was never used or was public knowledge in China.
Puyi's great-grandfather was the Daoguang Emperor (r.1820–1850), who was succeeded by his fourth son, who became Xianfeng Emperor (r.1850–1861).
Puyi's paternal grandfather was the 1st Prince Chun (1840–1891) who was himself a son of the Daoguang Emperor and a younger half-brother of Xianfeng Emperor, but not the next in line after Xianfeng (the 1st Prince Chun had older half-brothers that were closer in age to Xianfeng). Xianfeng was succeeded by his only son, who became the Tongzhi Emperor (r.1861-1875).