Weluwaddy

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Weluwaddy
ဝေဠုဝတီ
Chief queen consort of Burma
Tenure1174 – 1186
Predecessor Min Aung Myat
Successor Taung Pyinthe II (Sithu II)
Queen of the Western Palace
Tenurec. April – May 1174
Predecessorvacant
Successorvacant
Bornc. 1150s
Myinsaing, Pagan Empire
Died1186
Pagan (Bagan), Pagan Empire
Spouse Sithu II (1171–86)
Naratheinkha (1174)
IssueZeya Thura
House Pagan
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Weluwaddy (Burmese : ဝေဠုဝတီ, pronounced  [wèlṵ wədì] ; Pali : Veḷuvatī; d. 1186) was a chief queen consort of King Sithu II of the Pagan Dynasty of Myanmar. According to the royal chronicles, Sithu II overthrew his brother King Naratheinkha after his brother seized his wife Weluwaddy in 1174.

Contents

Early life

According to the chronicles, the future queen was born in Myinsaing to a commoner family, and grew up to be a great beauty. [1] When King Naratheinkha came to power in 1171, the chief of Myinsaing sent her as part of his tribute to the new king. At the palace in Pagan (Bagan), the king was not impressed by the country girl before him. He is said to have particularly disliked her ears, deeming them too large. He passed, and gave her to his younger brother Crown Prince Narapati who made her a junior wife. [1]

At Pagan

Chronicles say that the former country girl blossomed into a sophisticated beauty in the next few years. Her transformation was orchestrated by the dowager queen Myauk Pyinthe. The queen mother had the girl's ears surgically reduced, sent her to finishing school, and personally taught her court etiquette. The junior princess is said to have emerged more beautiful and sophisticated than all other princesses at the palace. [2] She was finally noticed by the king himself one day when she accompanied the queen mother to a party at the palace. There, the king was taken by her beauty, and now coveted his brother's wife. [3]

Naratheinkha's attempt to seize her in the next few months would alter the course of history. The king hastily came up with a scheme: He had a minister falsely report a rebellion in the extreme north of the kingdom at Ngasaunggyan (present-day Dehong, Yunnan), and ordered his brother, commander-in-chief of the royal army, to march there. As ordered, Narapati left with the army. When the army reached Thissein (modern Shwebo District), about 210 km north of Pagan, Naratheinkha raised his sister-in-law to queen. But the news reached Thissein within a few days as a cavalry officer loyal to the crown prince came up to deliver the news. Narapati turned around, and sent an elite company of 80 troops led by Commander Aung Zwa with the order to assassinate the king. [4]

Queen of Pagan

In 1174, Narapati became king as Sithu II. All three main chronicles say that she became the chief queen consort with the title of Weluwaddy (Pali: Veluvati). [5] [6] [7] However, a contemporary inscription from Sithu II's reign places her last in a list of six senior queens. [8] The couple had a son, Zeya Thura. Both Weluwaddy and Zeya Thura were given the towns of Talok, Amyint and Aneint (modern Myingyan and Monywa Districts) in fief. [9]

She died in 1186. [note 1] After her death, the king dedicated the Shwe Thabeik Pagoda in Talok (Myingyan District). [4] [9]

Notes

  1. Maha Yazawin (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 214) says she died in early 538 ME (1176) but Hmannan Yazawin (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 321) corrects it, saying she died in early 548 ME (1186).

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References

  1. 1 2 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 312
  2. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 312–313
  3. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 313
  4. 1 2 Harvey 1925: 53–54
  5. Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 211
  6. Yazawin Thit Vol. 1 2012: 133
  7. Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 315
  8. Than Tun 1964: 129
  9. 1 2 Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 326–327

Bibliography

Weluwaddy
Born:c. 1150s Died: 1186
Royal titles
Preceded by
Min Aung Myat
Chief queen consort of Burma
1174–1186
Succeeded by
Taung Pyinthe II (Sithu II)
Vacant Queen of the Western Palace
1174
Vacant