5.6.1. Ciro Santilli’s claim to the Qing Dynasty throne (三西猴清朝皇帝觊觎)

Ciro Santilli’s Ciro Santilli’s wife (三西猴的老婆), her mother, and paternal cousin, believe that Ciro’s wife is the descendant of the brother of a recent Qing emperor through her father’s family.

Although they have not been able to produce concrete evidence, which could be explained by the endless political turmoils in 20th century China, Ciro decided that this would be a good bet to take, and married her anyway.

If anyone is able to provide further evidence of this relationship, please, please, please get in touch.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Qing Dynasty (清朝, 大清, 1636-1912), like the previous Ming Dynasty (明朝, 1368-1644), used Generation names (行辈), such that the first character of the given name is the same for all people in a given generation (counted directly from the first emperor that adopted the rule.

For example, this wiki page contains a good family tree of the most important Qing people: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_tree_of_Chinese_monarchs_(late)#Qing_dynasty and we see that many important people around 1861 were Zai 載something, e.g.: Zaichun, Zaiyi, Zaitian, etc.

The last emperor was Puyi, so Pu is the last well known mark. But there were others planned that never got used for after him as shown at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisin_Gioro#List_of_generation_prefixes.

  • Zai (before Pu)

  • Pu (wife’s great-grandfather)

  • Yu (wife’s grandfather)

  • Heng (wife’s father)

  • Qi (wife)

  • Dao (wife’s children). At least one thing is decided from this: Ciro’s children Chinese names will all be Ai Dao Something.

The family tree that Ciro has reconstructed orally from his mother-in-law is:

Many of them have had different names in different places/countries, notably many used the name 肇(Zhao) rather than 艾.

Further anecdotal indicators follow.

Ciro’s wife and family are clearly of the Manchu ethnicity just by looking at them, and they originally lived in the North East of China

Ciro’s wife’s family name is the 艾, pronounced "ai4", which she claims is a reference to the 愛 (also pronounced ai4) in Aisin Gioro (愛新覺羅氏), which is the name of the Manchu ruling clan of the Qing dynasty.

艾 iself is however a somewhat common family name, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_(surname) mentions that it is listed in the Hundred Family Surnames (百家姓), a list of common surnames compiled in the Song Dynasty (宋朝, 960-1279) with around 400.000 members as of 2008. Presumably members of the falling Qing dynasty chose that relatively common Chinese name to avoid persecution, while still retaining a bit of their history.


Ciro Santilli portrait as Qing emperor
Figure 24. Ciro Santilli’s portrait as Qing emperor. Original image.