Emma of Normandy

From Cunnan
Jump to: navigation, search

Emma of Normandy was Queen of England twice, and bore, among her children, two further Kings.

Born about 986, Emma was daughter of Richard, Duke of Normandy and his Danish wife Gunnor (wife or mistress -- they were "married" under Norse law; Richard then married Emma, daughter of Hugh the Great, the father of the Capetian line of French kings; she dying, he then married, formally and by Church law, Gunnor, although he kept other concubines, after his forefathers' traditions). He died around 996, being succeeded by his son, Emma's brother, Richard II, and it was Richard who organised his sister's weddings. Emma married highest, insofar as her husband had no feudal overlord, being King Aethelred Unraed of England; her sisters married French nobility: Matilda wedding the Count of Chartres (and dying shortly after), Hawise marrying the Count of Rennes.

Emma was married to Aethelred in 1002; she bore him two sons, Edward, who was to be King Edward the Confessor, and Alfred, and a daughter Godgifu (goodly gift) who maried the Count of Amiens, and later, on widowhood, Eustace, Count of Bologne. After Aethelred's death in 1016, Emma married Canute (or Cnut), who was then king in Aethelred's place, and bore him Hardicanute, king from 1035-40, and Gunnhild, who married Henry III of Germany.

Emma lived on into Edward's reign, as dowager queen (and influential royal counsellor) finally dying in 1052 .