40. Princess Wencheng (the princess married to Tibet)
Princess Wencheng (623—680 AD) was the daughter of Emperor Taizong. She was pretty and clever, and was familiar with Chinese culture. She believed in Buddhism.
Tibet was then independent of China. It became a vassal state to China only in Qing dynasty, but still only in name. It ruled itself independently, even under KMD government, till CPC sent its army into Tibet and actually ruled it. At that time, sometimes it was friendly to Tang government and sometimes invaded Tang territory. It depended on who ruled Tibet. At the time, Songtsen Gampo was the king of Tibet.
It was a leap year in 640 AD. The lunar calendar has a double month in the leap year. There were two tenth moons in that year and in the bissextile tenth moon, the king of Tibet sent someone to the capital of Tang dynasty with five thousand taels of silver and hundreds of gems and other valuables, asking for the hand of one of the princesses. Emperor Taizong was on the throne at that time and agreed to marry Princess Wencheng to the Tibetan king.
On the fifteenth day of the third moon in 641 AD, Emperor Taizong ordered Prince Jiangxia, his cousin, to escort Princess Wencheng to Tibet for the wedding ceremony. When the princess arrived, the king was very happy and had a palace of Tang style built for her. The king also liked the clothes and etiquette of Tang style. Whenever he went to see the princess, he put on gauze clothes of Tang style. According to the history record, the princess brought Tang culture there together with silkworm eggs, which affected the life and customs of Tibetan people. They began to breed silkworms and made silk clothes. She also brought a statue of Sakyamuni, and the king built Ramoche Temple for it. The princess was the second queen of the Tibetan king. His first queen was a princess from Nepal.
In the fifth moon of AD 650, died the king of Tibet, the husband of Princess Wencheng and so the brother-in-law of the present Emperor Gaozong, son of Emperor Taizong, who already died. Emperor Gaozong was the brother of Princess Wencheng. The son of King Songtsen Gampohad died early and so his grandson was made the king. As the grandson was a child, the prime minister Ludongzan had all the power to rule Tibet. He was talented and so Tibet became strong.
In the second moon of 679 AD, another king of Tibet died, and his son, eight years old, succeeded to the position of king. In the tenth moon, the sad news of the death of the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, her husband, sent by Princess Wencheng, who was still alive, arrived in the capital of Tang Dynasty. A courtier Song Lingwen was sent to attend the funeral.
During the tenth moon of 680 AD, Princess Wencheng died in Tibet.