Adelaide of Italy



Adelaide was born in 931 in the Orbe Kingdom of Upper Burgendy in what is now known as Sweden. At 15 she was married off to one of her father’s political rivals, Lothair II, King of Italy. When he was poisoned his sucessor tried to marry her to his son but she ran off and hid in the marshes. She was eventually caught and brought back but escaped again but was found by Otto I who was a Frankish king. (Yep, lot’s of Frankish royalty in my line.) They married in 951. In 962 he was crowned Emperor of The Holy Roman Emperor and she was crowned Empress. It was the second marriage for both of them. She kept her lands in the marriage.

She was, as Pauline Stafford points out, daughter, sister, and aunt of three consecutive kings of Burgundy, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandmother of three consecutive kings of France, wife, mother, and grandmother of three Ottonian emperors.(1) “


Adelaide outlived her husband, her son, Otto II and her daughter in law, Dowager Empress Theophanu, and acted as regent for her grandson, Otto III for four years. When he reached the age of majority she retired to a nunnery though she continued to support her extended family’s politics. She died at Selz Abbey on December 16, 999 in Selz, Alasace, now France, while coming back from Burgendy where she had supported her nephew, Rudolf III against a rebellion.


She was cannonized by Pope Urban II in 1097.

Sources: 1


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