Wu Zetian became a royal concubine at the age of 13, sometime between 636 and 638 AD. After Emperor Taizong died, his son, Emperor Gaozong, kept up an affair with Wu and eventually made her his consort—a title equivalent to wife. Wu would continue to exert her influence over male rulers, including her own sons, until she declared herself emperor in 690. She ruled from then until her death in 705.
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Key Facts In This Video
At age 13, Wu Zetian (then Wu Zhao) was chosen to be a concubine for Emperor Taizong. 01:26
Wu Zetian ejected her son, Emperor Ruizong, from the throne in 690, adopting the title of ruler and establishing the Zhou dynasty. 03:05
Wu Zetian allowed the people of China to submit ideas to her using an urn as a sort of suggestion box. 04:41