Qing Dynasty nobility

Qing Dynasty nobility

The Qing Dynasty in China (1644-1911) developed a very complicated peerage system for ranking nobility. By convention all titles are to be inherited by the eldest son of its holder, but always one grade lower. There are instances, however, where the Emperor grants the title to be "inherited through every generation" (世襲罔替). When this happens it is always regarded as an honour.

Imperial Line

These titles are given solely to the direct male-line descendants of an Emperor:
* "qinwang" (親王, prince of the blood or prince of the first rank)
* "junwang" (郡王, prince of a commandery or prince of the second rank)
* "beile" (貝勒, 'lord' in Manchu)
* "beizi" (貝子)These titles are given to descendants of title holders of Princely titles
* "shizi" (世子, the heir apparent to a "qinwang")
* "zhangzi" (長子, the heir apparent to a "junwang")These titles are given to the ruling clan:
* "guogong" (國公 national duke - two sub-grades)
* "jiangjun" (將軍 general - four sub-grades, each further divided into sub-classes)
* "efu" or "fuma" (額駙/駙馬 originally the spouse of a princess of the blood)


Nine grades of the peerage awarded for valour, achievement, and distinction (All but the lowest two grades are further divided into sub-classes):
* "mingong" (民公 'commoner'(i.e. non-imperial) duke)
* "hou" (侯 marquess or marquis)
* "bo" (伯 count)
* "zi" (子 viscount)
* "nan" (男 baron)
* "qingche duwei" (輕車都尉 roughly equivalent to the rank of Knight Grand Cross of an Order (decoration))
* "qi duwei" (騎都尉 roughly equivalent to the rank of Knight Commander or Grand Officer of an Order (decoration))
* "yunqiwei" (雲騎尉 roughly equivalent to the rank of Companion or Commander of an Order (decoration))
* "enqiwei" (恩騎尉 roughly equivalent to the rank of Officer of an Order (decoration))


* "Kurun Princess" (固倫公主, the eldest Princess born to the Empress)
* "Heshuo Princess" (和碩公主, the Emperor's daughters)
* "Junzhu" (郡主, the daughters of Princes)

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