Bertrade de Montfort , Queen Consort of the Franks was born around 1070 to Simon I de Montfort and Agnes, Countess of Evreux. Her parents died while she was a teen and she was left to the guardianship of her older brother, Amaury. She was married to Fulk IV, Count of Anjou also known as Fulk le Réchin, about 1089 (she was his fifth known wife, he like to repudiate his wives) and they had a son together, Fulk, Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem. With Fulk having a nickname that seems to indicate he was a bit of a jerk and with contemporary chronicler, John of Marmoutier claimed, “The lecherous Fulk then fell passionately in love with the sister of Amaury de Montfort, whom no good man ever praised save for her beauty.”1 This sounds like a “bad boy” fell in love with a “bad girl” which is probably right since in 1092 she ran off or was “kidnapped” by King Philip I of France. The pair married on May 15, 1092 much to the chagrin of their spouses. Bertrade didn’t see it as a big deal and expected Philip and Fulk to be friends. Philip repudiated Bertha claiming that she got too fat and locked her up in the fortress of Montreuil sur Mer. Neither Hugh of Die nor Pope Urban II agreed and the pair was excommunicated. In 1095 and poor Philip wasn’t allowed to run off and join the First Crusade. Philip and Betrade had three children, Philip, Fleury and Cecile.
Bertrade made the annals of another chronicler, this time, Orderic Vitalis, who claimed that she was so concerned with making sure one of her sons succeeded Philip that she wrote to Henry I of England to have Philip’s oldest son, Louis, arrested. (Some claimed she was behind the death of his son Geoffroy on May 19, 1106 from a ‘friendly fire’ arrow.) He also claimed she used witchcraft and poison against her stepson but to no avail, he succeeded his father in 1108. Betrade lived on and according to William of Malmesbury, a 12th Century historian and monk “Bertrade, still young and beautiful, took the veil at Fontevraud Abbey, always charming to men, pleasing to God, and like an angel.”, 1 Not sure about witchcraft and joining a convent a few years later but stranger things have happened. She died February 14, 1117.