Princess Hwapyeong (1727–1748) was the third daughter of King Yeongjo of the Joseon dynasty in Korea.
The princess' personal name is unknown. She was born to Lady Seonhui on the 27th day of the 4th lunar month, 1727, in Chippok-heon (집복헌, 集福軒), ChangKyong Palace (창경궁, 昌慶宮). In 1731, she received her title "Hwapyeong", which means "peace". In 1738, the 14th year of King Yeongjo's reign, she married Bak Myeongwon (1725-1790, Hangul: 박명원, Hanja: 朴明源), fourth son of Bak Sajeong (1683-1739，Hangul: 박사정, Hanja: 朴師正) from the illustrious Bak clan of Bannam (반남 박씨, 潘南朴氏). She left the palace on the 20th day of the 2nd month in 1742 for her in-law's family.
Princess Hwapyeong was King Yeongjo's favorite daughter. He loved her beyond all else and referred to her as his "intimate friend (知己)". His ardent love for her was recorded extensively in the Sillok. Princess Hwapyeong's wedding was extremely grand, and her dowry was said to be ten thousand times more extravagant than that of her elder sister Princess Hwasun's. King Yeongjo bestowed upon her a royal residence as wedding gift but his goodwill was declined by the Princess.
On the 24th day of the 6th month of 1748, Princess Hwapyeong died due to a difficult child birth. On the day of her death, upon hearing that the princess was in a critical condition, King Yeongjo hastily visited her residence. She was subsequently pronounced dead. King Yeongjo was devastated and inconsolable over her death. He suspended all court affairs to mourn for her. He even moved his residence from Kyongdok Palace (景德宫) to Changdok Palace (昌德宫) in order to be near the location of Princess Hwapyeong's funerary observance so that he could personally oversee all affairs. He visited her residence frequently and broke down on five occasions before Princess Hwapyeong's burial. King Yeongjo made great efforts in seizing the most auspicious location for the burial ground of Princess Hwapyeong. He forcefully acquired a piece of ancestral land owned by the Paju Yun family, who had been staying there for generations, and evacuated hundreds of civilians from nearby villages to make way for Princess Hwapyeong's tomb. Princess Hwapyeong was buried in Munsan, Paju (파주, 坡州马山). Her elaborated funeral proceedings was comparable to that of a State Funeral.
Princess Hwapyeong did not conceive any child. King Yeongjo made the third son of Bak Myeongwon's eldest brother the adopted primary son of Princess Hwapyeong.
In the memoirs of Lady Hyegyong, she described Princess Hwapyeong as being gentle and particularly kind towards herself and Prince Sado. The princess was uncomfortable and distressed that she alone was showered with paternal affection and that her younger brother, the Crown Prince, was not. Whenever King Yeongjo found fault in the Prince, Princess Hwapyeong would side with her brother and pleaded ceaselessly with the King to be lenient. She was said to have mitigated the relationship between the King and the Prince and made a great deal of difference in her brother's favor. Until her death in 1748, she was the main protector of Prince Sado. Lady Hyegyong claimed that during the pregnancy of her first child, she often dream of Princess Hwapyeong coming to her bedchamber, sat next to her and sometimes smiled at her. When her first son was born, he bore the same birth mark as Princess Hwapyeong and King Yeongjo took him as the reincarnation of the Princess.
|Eulogy written by Prince Sado|
Yearning for my elder sister Princess Hwapyeong
The flowers of the cherry trees are blooming in spring, brilliant leaves among scarlet petals. For how many times did my sister come to my rescue in my plight? Other were keen, yet helpless. I have only so few sisters born of the same mother. (We were like) wild geese having fun flying across the Sushui River together. Till the Mujin year (1748), I have been showered in your grace. And now, all of a sudden, you passed away. How sad! I do not know how my elder brother looked like. Who else could allay my sorrow? Morning drums thundered. I could not fall asleep. Sound of the pan (hitting the bells) in discord. Servants clad in purple coat send morning greetings. Looking back to the days (we had at the) waterfront pavilion, I was in a daze throughout the night. I eschewed my own desolation to console my grieving mother. Riding on chariots, sorrows soared into the ninth Heaven. Feathery flags fluttering along the celestial path. Illness did not erode the filial piety in you. You would remind me to be diligent in my studies. Even in dreams, you would send regards to inquire about His Majesty’s health. Should I joy or mourn? I must be looking haggard, for tears are streaming down my cheeks as if a river breached its banks. Who had no brothers? To whom could I pour out my heart to? In the northern garden, the moon shore on the pine forest. Underneath the eastern hill, wild birds shrieking. How could (a bird) fly with broken wings? It is such a pity that yellow birds did not have a hundred lives. The flock of wild geese is shrinking with just three of us left. Tree branches rustling, I sink into deep melancholy. Are dreams real or is reality a dream? Embraced by the cherry blossoms, I coalesced my thoughts to let bitterness fade with time. Times flies relentlessly, like the water that flows and never returns.
|Eulogy written by King Jeongjo|
Eulogy written for Kumsongwi Bak Myeongwon and Princess Hwapyeong
My second aunt was virtuous and kind. My deceased grandfather loved her dearly. (He) married (her) into an illustrious family, gifted a fine residence (to the couple) and showered them with precious jade and gold jewelries. Husband and wife loved and respected each other like the harmonious resonance of the lute and psaltery. (My aunt's) character was as exemplary as that of the Queen of King Wen. The ladies-in-waiting praised her for her devotion to her brother. She helped him on various matters, going back and forth using all means to do whatever she could. When the female phoenix demises, the male phoenix retreats. But your legacy lives on. Returning to the Palace of Lu, I could still recall your sincere advice. You were diligent in your duties and courteous to your subordinates. If I visit your tomb and find it in a derelict state, I would not be able to sleep in peace and it would bother me for another ten years. Well-versed in Cheng-Chu classics, you never failed to be genuine in sharing your thoughts (to me). Whenever I look over to the mountains (where you are buried), I see a pearl in the dragon’s mouth. Capable man were summoned (to select the location) through divination. It would bring abundant peace and prosperity to our descendants for many years to come. You had been the pillar for our country and brought honor to your clan. Having an illustrious career, and accomplishing all “four beautiful elements”, you drew admiration from your colleagues. Now I am revisiting Paju with mixed feelings. How could the praises on your tomb stone sing enough of your achievements? Due to the strict code of conduct, I could only pass by your grave in a chariot. Thus, I have specially asked your nephew to pour you (on my behalf) yet another glass of wine
|Ancestors of Crown Prince Sado|