Having no child, Emperor Renzong took his younger brother’s son Zhao Shu into the palace and brought him up. Having borne no child, Empress Cao also took her elder sister’s daughter Gao into the palace to rear. So Zhao Shu and Gao played and grew up together in the palace. Emperor Renzong considered them a good couple and let them marry. Gao bore four sons and a daughter. After Emperor Renzong died, Zhao Shu mounted the throne and became Emperor Yingzong. He set up Gao as empress. Emperor Yingzong died. Zhao Xu succeeded to the throne and became Emperor Shenzong. Gao was honored with the title of Empress Dowager. Emperor Shenzong was ill in his later years, so Empress Dowager Gao held court from behind a screen. “In the nine years when the empress dowager managed state affairs, the court was peaceful and the country was stable,” according to historical records.