Qianlong Emperor was born to the Manchu-led Qing dynasty.
Qianlong Emperor was born on September 25, 1711, at Prince Yong Mansion (now Yonghe Temple) in Beijing, China to Yongzheng Emperor and Empress Xiaoshengxian. His original birth name was original name Hongli.
On October 7, 1735, on the eve of the death of his father, Hongli was declared the heir apparent. In fact, in keeping with the wish of his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor (who reigned 1661–1722), Hongli had been secretly designated Yongzheng’s successor shortly after the latter had ascended the throne despite the fact that Hongli was the fourth-born son (he was, however, the eldest surviving son when he was actually named heir apparent). Kangxi had noticed the outstanding qualities of his grandson and had decided to do his best to prepare him for his future task.
A legend claims that Qianlong was the son of Chen Yuanlong of Haining. When Emperor Kangxi chose the heir to his throne, he not only considered his son's ability to govern the Empire, but also the ability and character of his grandson, in order to ensure the Manchus' everlasting reign over the country. Yongzheng's own son was a weakling, so he surreptitiously arranged for his daughter to be swapped for Chen Yuanlong's son, who became the favorite grandson of the Kangxi Emperor. Thus, Yongzheng succeeded to the throne, and his "son," Hongli, subsequently became Emperor Qianlong. Later, Qianlong went to the southern part of the country four times, and stayed in Chen's house in Haining, leaving behind his calligraphy; he also frequently issued imperial decrees making and maintaining Haining as a tax-free state.