The Queen Dowager appears to be the main adversary of Queen Im Hwa-ryeong in Under the Queen’s Umbrella. The character is played by actress Kim Hae-sook.
Under the Queen’s Umbrella is a Korean drama series set during the Joseon period and focuses on a fictional royal family ruling the dynasty at that time.
The Queen Dowager is the King’s mother and is always referred to by that term. The term “Queen Dowager” is given to the widow of a king.
The territorial mother-in-law
The Queen Dowager in this series is the mother of King Lee Ho and she has a particular dislike toward her son’s wife, Queen Im Hwa-ryeong.
Unlike the Queen, the Queen Dowager was a royal consort (concubine) of the previous king. Yet she managed to propel her son to the throne and acquire her current title.
This fact made her appear cunning and ruthless and an inspiration to the other consorts. She uses her status in her plot to depose her daughter-in-law and install a more preferred consort in her place.
It is her decision to send the royal physician away when the Queen needs him most and her suggestion to pick on of the princes as the next cohort to the crown prince.
She hands each of them a record of the practices she followed that led to her son becoming the next crown prince after the former died of sickness.
When the queen visits the deposed Queen Yoon, she learns that the former crown prince survived the sickness and implies that Queen Dowager had a part to play in his death.
When Queen Dowager finds out that the current Crown Prince is suffering from hyeolheogwol, she doesn’t showcase much empathy and is more focused on securing the succession of the throne and maintaining order in the royal court.