Historical Background We Can learn From The Red Sleeve!

Historical Background of Korea

In this article we will share and talk to you about historical values and background we can learn from The Red Sleeve Korean dramas.

Many dramas and movie depict the love story between the royals and commoner. What we might want to consider is that is that story was true and same as what history tells us? Let’s dive right to this korean drama story. 

Korean History In The Red Sleeve


The Red Sleeve is a historical korean dramas series in 2021 that gain huge attention and well received among korean drama lovers all over the world, both korean and foreigners. This kdrama tells a story of King Jeongjo who fell in love with a court lady name Deok Im.

Historically speaking, Deok Im was end up being as a concubine with the title Uibin Seong and died as she pregnant with the third child.


Deok Im was considered a commoner, which means someone who came from a common family that entered the palace just to be a court lady before ended up as a concubine of the King.


If you are historical koraen drama lovers, then you might already seen a lot of story where commoner became King’s concubine such as Lee Suk Won in Dae Jang Geum, Empress Ki and Dong Yi.

We learn from all historical korean dramas that other than status, people who entered the palace is those who were specially chosen. When we talk about Empress or Concubine, it is a special position as they’re the closest to the king and political position.


According to historical records, during the Joseon Dynasty law, only royal slaves could enter the palace and for ordinary people to even hope to become a concubine or empress was an impossible dream as it is against the palace rules.

However, during the reign of King Hyojong, he tried to select a concubine from the commoner, even though that idea was opposed by the commoner. This is because, once they’re selected as a “King’s woman”, they would not be able to marry for life, even though the king might never meet them personally. That’s why commoner against this and force their daughter to marry at early age to avoid this.

Source: Oh My News


So we find out that the court lady could become the king’s concubine, however it is super small percentage as there are a lot of beautiful and good looking court lady in the palace.

Has A Commoner Ever Become Queen?


If you already watched Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love kdrama, then you already knew the answer. Jang Ok Jung Living by Love korean drama tells the life story of Jang Ok-jung, a noble class child that was given the status of commoner because her mother came from a commoner class.

Jang Ok Jung was one of the most beautiful women ever lived in Joseon Dynasty during the reign of King Suk Jong. Her beauty definitely attract the attention of King Suk Jong and they became a lover. However, the relationship was hardly opposed by his mother. 

Only after his mother died, then Jang Ok Jung was allowed to enter the palace and became his concubine.


In 1688, King Suk-jong, removed Queen In-hyeon from the throne and exiled her from the palace. The political group supported Jang Ok Jung being appointed as Queen. 

However, It only lasts for six years, as she was demoted back to concubine status and even ordered to be executed after the King found out that she performed black magic to curse Queen In Hyeon.


King Suk-jong ordered the execution of her by poisoning her, together with her mother, brother and family member that support her. This incident cause him to make a rule that no concubine would ever be a Queen.

Therefore, it is safe to say that it is very impossible for a commoner to become a Queen. As best as it could be, commoner can only become a court lady and later on concubine if they’re really beautiful, or lucky.


While the truth might be disappointing for those who hope for kdrama lovers who love to see the beauty and the beast, the royal and the commoner being together, yet it is totally understandable.

The King can’t just choose anyone to be his Queen, because there are a lot of stakes at risk, such as position, , power, custom and another political reasons.

Historical Background Of The Red Sleeve


This is something we can learn from historical kdrama The Red Sleeve, hopefully it is useful for you to know and learn about korean history during Joseon Dynasty.

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