What did a typical bedroom belonging to a Qing Dynasty princess look like?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good example of the room of a princess during the Qing Dynasty is the Palace of Gathering Elegance, one of the six western palaces and the place where the Empress Dowager Cixi lived in the 1800s and early 1900s in the Forbidden City in Beijing. A pair of bronze deer and a pair of bronze dragons flank the entrance to the palace as signs of harmony and wealth. These dragons were only supposed to be located where emperors lived. Within the palace, Cixi had a main hall for welcoming guests, a room to the east for worshipping Buddha (as she was a devout Buddhist), and a room to the west that was her bedroom. Her bedroom (still in existence) has a large brick bed (kang), built into an alcove, and a dressing table filled with cosmetics. Around her bed are shelves that held ornaments such as jade figurines. In addition, she had several hanging lanterns that were decorated with tassels and wall hangings, likely made of silk and depicting traditional Chinese scenes. The doors to her room were draped with curtains. For more information, see the book Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang.