Tunku Kurshiah binti Almarhum Tunku Besar Burhanuddin is the former Tunku Ampuan or Queen of Negeri Sembilan. In 1957, her husband was elected as the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong of independent Malaya (later Malaysia) and she became Raja Permaisuri Agong or Queen.
Born on 16 May 1911 in Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan, she was the eldest daughter of Tunku Besar Burhanuddin ibni Almarhum Tuanku Antah (sometime Regent of Negeri Sembilan). She received her early education at the Seri Menanti Malay School. She also attended private English classes.
Tuanku Kurshiah married Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad, the ruler of Negeri Sembilan as his third wife.
Upon her husband's accession to the throne of Negeri Sembilan in 1933, Tunku Kurshiah was proclaimed Tunku Ampuan or Queen of Negeri Sembilan. In 1957, her husband was elected as the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong of independent Malaya (later Malaysia) and she became Raja Permaisuri Agong or Queen.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman died in April 1960 and Tunku Kurshiah was given the dowager title of Tunku Ampuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan.
In 1954, Tuanku Kurshiah was appointed as the President of the Negeri Sembilan Girl Guides. She was also the patron of the Women’s Institute of Negeri Sembilan.
In May 1961, she established the Muslim Women Welfare Council and to date she is the Founder President.
On 27 October 1974, she was awarded the Tun Fatimah Gold Medal by the National Council of Women’s Organisations for her contribution in elevating the standard of women and children through welfare and education.
In memory of her contribution to the country, the Malaysian government decided to change the name of Maktab Perempuan Melayu – a prominent boarding school – to Tunku Kurshiah College. The University of Malaya also renamed its Third Residential College to Tunku Kurshiah Residential College.