慈禧太后 (Cíxí Tàihòu), Empress Dowager Cíxí, was one of the most feared rulers of China.
At 16, Cíxí became the emperor’s concubine. She did well. Not only did the empress like her, Cíxí also became the mother of the emperor’s only surviving son, so when the emperor died and the game of thrones was decided, Cíxí was the ruler of China.
Cíxí outlived three emperors (the last of whom she probably poisoned) before installing 2-year-old Pŭyí, the last emperor, on the throne in 1908 just before her death.
History has had its way with her. Was she a lavish old conservative lady who refused to modernize and killed all who stood in her way? Was she China’s most vicious defender against the invading Western powers? Was she a product of her time, married into imperial politics while still a scared teenager?
Regardless, she is the stuff of legends.
Did Cíxí look like her contemporary, Queen Victoria? Baidu Baike