Emperor in Disguise
One Saturday afternoon, I happened to watch an old Shaw Brothers movie in TV about the adventures of Emperor Qian Long . I remember having seen posters for the movie in Capitol Theatre in Taiping in the seventies. The movie, I thought was just watchable, nothing to shout about really about such a legendary figure. Historically, Emperor Qianlong (乾隆 ) who was born Hongli, was the fourth son of Yongzheng Emperor and the grandson of Kangxi Emperor, both being famous emperors of the Manchu Qing Dynasty in their own right. Qian Long was the fifth emperor and hiss early years saw the continuity of an era of prosperity in China but his unrelentingly conservative and sinocentric attitude resulted in the Qing Dynasty's decline later in his reign. Stories about Qianlong visiting the Jiangnan area disguised as a commoner had been a popular topic for many generations and I suppose the movie is about one of these escapades. This really reminded me of the late Princess Diana who always ran off to Paris; only thing is she wasn't in disguise!