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Bertrada of Laon: Wikis

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Tomb of Bertrada of Laon and Pepin the Short, Saint Denis basilica.

Bertrada of Laon, also called Bertha Broadfoot (cf. Latin: Regina pede aucae i.e. the queen with the goose-foot), (between 710 and 727 – July 12, 783) was a Frankish queen. She was born in Laon, in today's Aisne, France, the daughter of Caribert of Laon. She married Pepin the Short, the son of the Frankish Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel, in 740, although the union was not canonically sanctioned until several years later. Eleven years later, in 751, Pepin and Bertrada became King and Queen of the Franks, following Pepin's successful coup against the Frankish Merovingian monarchs.

Bertrada and Pepin are known to have had four children, three sons and one daughter: of these, Charles (Charlemagne), Carloman, and Gisela survived to adulthood, whilst Pepin died in infancy. Charlemagne and Carloman would inherit the two halves of their father's kingdom when he died, and Gisela became a nun.

Bertrada lived at the court of her elder son Charles, and according to Einhard their relationship was excellent. She recommended him to marry his first wife, Desiderata, a daughter of the Lombard king Desiderius, but he soon divorced her. Einhard claims this was the only episode that ever strained relations between mother and son. Bertrada lived with Charlemagne until her death in 783; the king buried her in Saint Denis Basilica with great honors.

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Preceded by
Clotilda
Queen of the Franks
751–768
Succeeded by
Desiderata and Gerberge

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