After watching episode 54 of Ruyi’s Royal Love In The Palace yesterday, I realised how addicted I am to this drama. Qing Dynasty concubine dramas are a dime a dozen but I think this drama is special because the costumes are just so stunning! Ruyi is now the Empress 2 years after the previous Empress died, ostensibly from illness but accelerated by an ‘accident’ when she fell into the water. Although she was saved, her health deteriorated from then on and it was impossible to recover.
Ruyi’s coronation scene was especially beautiful and majestic. The Emperor is still very trusting of Ruyi but he is getting more and more suspicious of everyone including his foster mother, the Empress Dowager who has the habit of planting concubines around him so that they can spy for her. I wonder why it’s necessary to have spies as she surely cannot rise further than Emperor Dowager status.
The concubines never stop scheming and manipulating. There seem to be an endless number of eunuchs and midwives willing to do their dirty work for them and all it takes is a little bribe for a midwife to ensure that a concubines giving birth never to conceive again. The main villains are Concubine Jia and Ling. Concubine Jia was sent by the Court of Joseon (Korea) while Concubine Ling was a maid who was bullied endlessly by the former. More drama to be had as more concubines are picked to join the harem.
The road to being appointed as Empress hasn’t been easy for Ruyi as she had to get out of the Cold Palace where she was banished for a few years. She’s always seen as a threat to the other concubines as she is the most beloved of the Emperor. They share a bond which seems unbreakable but it looks like in upcoming episodes, they will face challenges to the trust between them.