Royal Ranks in Joseon Dynasty

Titles and ranks are big issues, be it in the modern or ancient setting. The ranks for the royal members of Joseon Dynasty often make me confused, so I figured out that I have to put them in one place for easy reference. This is just a short list of the ranks and titles for the immediate family members of the King, and there might be more (read: complicated) terms for the extended family and relatives of the royal house. This is what I have found so far, and hopefully you will find it useful 😉

Everyone in the succession line and their consorts have no rank (무품). This includes the following: King, Queen, Crown Prince, Crown Princess Consort, Grand Heir, and Grand Heir Consort. Although they had no rank, they still had to show respect to their elders since seniority played an important role in filial piety.

The King’s Consorts

As stated earlier, Queen/ wangbi (왕비, 王妃) had no rank. The queen was the highest ranked lady in the inner court. After the king passed away, she would become Royal Queen Dowager/ Wangdaebi (왕대비, 王大妃) and then Grand Royal Queen Dowager/ Daewangdaebi (대왕대비, 大王大妃). The current queen would be the leader of the inner court, although some matters would be referred to the most senior members available at the moment if the situation called for it. The royal concubines/ hugung (후궁, 後宮) had their titles bestowed together with ranks.

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