When Emperor Puyi ascended to the Chinese throne in 1908, a life of luxury seemed assured from then on. But history has a way of changing even the best-laid plans, it seems. And so it was with Puyi: less than four years after the emperor began his reign, the country became a republic, and he ultimately found himself out of a job.
As a member of China’s royal Qing dynasty, though, Puyi would undoubtedly have lived opulently under any circumstances. But the son of Prince Chun became ruler rather unexpectedly; when he was a toddler, a decision was made that changed his life forever.