"Princess" Der Ling (1885 - 1944) was a Manchu, the daughter of Yu Keng. Yu Keng was a member of the Manchu Plain White Banner Corps and according to his daughter was a Lord. He was known for his progressive, reformist views, as well as for his unvarying support of the Empress Dowager Cixi.
Yu Keng's daughters Der Ling and Rong Ling (1882-1973, the future Madame Dan Paochao of Beijing) received a western education, having studied dance in Paris with Isadora Duncan. Upon return from France, Der Ling became the First lady-in-waiting to Empress Dowager Cixi, as well as a translator. She stayed at court until March 1905. In 1907, Der Ling married Thaddeus C. White, an American. Der Ling had a brother, Xunling (ca. 1880-1943), who studied photography in France and later took the only photographs of Empress Dowager Cixi still in existence.
Using the title of princess, which would create controversy for her in both China and the United States in future, Der Ling wrote down her unique experience in court in her memoirs Two Years in the Forbidden City, which were published in 1911, and wrote about the experience through her next seven books. "Two Years" gives historical insights into life at court and Der Ling's service to the Dowager Empress, essentially a world that has disappeared.