Adelaide of Maurienne

Adelaide of Savoy (or Adelaide of Maurienne) (Italian: Adelaide di Savoia or Adelasia di Moriana, French: Adélaïde or Alix or Adèle de Maurienne)[1] (1092 – 18 November 1154) was, by birth, a member of the House of Savoy. She was the second spouse, but first queen consort, of Louis VI of France (1115-1137). After Louis' death, Adelaide was married to Matthew I of Montmorency.

Adelaide of Maurienne
Queen consort of the Franks
Born18 November 1092
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France
Died18 November 1154 (aged 6162)
SpouseLouis VI of France
Matthieu I of Montmorency
IssuePhilip of France
Louis VII of France
Henry, Archbishop of Reims
Robert I of Dreux
Constance, Countess of Toulouse
Philip, Bishop of Paris
Peter of Courtenay
FatherHumbert II of Savoy
MotherGisela of Burgundy
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Adelaide was the daughter of Humbert II of Savoy and Gisela of Burgundy, daughter of William I of Burgundy.[2] Adelaide's older brother, Amadeus III of Savoy succeeded their father as count of Savoy in 1103.[3] Adelaide had the same name as her paternal great-grandmother Adelaide of Turin, ruler of the mark of Turin, and her second cousin, Adelaide del Vasto, queen of Jerusalem.[4] Through her father, Adelaide was also related to the German emperor, Henry V. On her mother's side, Adelaide's relatives included: her uncle, Pope Callixtus II, who visited Adelaide at court in France, and her first cousin, Alfonso VII of León and Castile.[5]

Queen of France

Adelaide became the second wife of Louis VI of France, whom she married on 3 August 1115 in Paris, France.[6] They had nine children, the second of whom became Louis VII of France.

Adelaide was one of the most politically active of all France's medieval queens.[7] Her name appears on 45 royal charters from the reign of Louis VI.[8] During her tenure as queen, royal charters were dated with both her regnal year and that of the king.[9] Among many other religious benefactions, she and Louis founded the monastery of St Peter's (Ste Pierre) at Montmartre, in the northern suburbs of Paris.[10]

Queen dowager and second marriage

After Louis VI's death, Adelaide did not immediately retire to conventual life, as did most widowed queens of the time. Instead she married Matthieu I of Montmorency,[11] with whom she had one child. She remained active in the French court and in religious activities.


In 1153 she retired to the abbey of Montmartre, which she had founded with Louis VII. She died there on 18 November 1154.[11] She was buried in the cemetery of the Church of St. Pierre at Montmartre. The abbey was destroyed during the French Revolution, but Adelaide's tomb is still visible in the church of St Pierre.[12]

Seventeenth century legend

Adelaide is one of two queens in a legend related in the seventeenth century by William Dugdale. As the story goes, Queen Adélaide of France became enamoured of a young knight, William d'Albini, at a joust. But he was already engaged to Adeliza of Louvain and refused to become her lover. The jealous Adélaide lured him into the clutches of a hungry lion, but William ripped out the beast's tongue with his bare hands and thus killed it. This story is almost without a doubt apocryphal.[13]


Louis and Adelaide had seven sons and two daughters:

  1. Philip of France (1116–1131).
  2. Louis VII (1120 – 18 November 1180), King of France.
  3. Henry (1121–1175), Archbishop of Reims.
  4. Hugues (b. c. 1122).
  5. Robert (c. 1123–11 October 1188), Count of Dreux.
  6. Constance (c. 1124–16 August 1176), married first Eustace IV, Count of Boulogne and then Raymond V of Toulouse.
  7. Philip (1125–1161), Bishop of Paris. Not to be confused with his elder brother.
  8. Peter (c. 1125–1183), married Elizabeth, Lady of Courtenay.
  9. a daughter, whose name is not known, who died in infancy and was interred at the Abbey of Saint-Victor, Paris.

With Matthieu I of Montmorency, Adelaide had one daughter:

  • Adèle (or Aelis or Alix) of Montmorency.



  1. Micheline Dupuy, Françaises, reines d'Angleterre, 1968, p. 374.
  2. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy, pp. 276-277; Germain, Personnages illustres des Savoie, p. 370.
  3. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy p. 278.
  4. Ripart, 'La tradition d'Adélaïde'.
  5. Thiele, Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln, table 397.
  6. Mary Stroll, Calixtus the Second, 1119-1124, (Brill, 2004), 192; Lewis, 'La date'.
  7. Facinger, 'Study of Medieval Queenship'.
  8. Huneycutt, 'Creation of a Crone,' p. 28.
  9. Facinger, 'Study of Medieval Queenship', pp. 28-9.
  10. Huneycutt, 'Creation of a Crone,' p. 30.
  11. Adelaide of Savoy, John Bell Henneman, Jr., Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, ed. William W. Kibler and Grover A. Zinn, (Routledge, 1995), 7.
  12. Nolan, 'Tomb of Adelaide of Maurienne'.
  13. Huneycutt, 'Creation of a Crone', pp. 27-8.


  • Kathleen Nolan, 'The Queen’s Body and Institutional Memory: The Tomb of Adelaide of Maurienne,' in Elizabeth Valdez del Alamo and Carolo Stamatis Pendergast, eds., Memory and the Medieval Tomb (Brookfield, Aldershot, 2000), pp. 249-267.
  • Nolan, Kathleen D. Capetian Women (Palgrave MacMillan, 2004).
  • Kathleen Nolan, 'The Tomb of Adelaide of Maurienne and the Visual Imagery of Capetian Queenship,' in Kathleen Nolan, ed., Capetian Women (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 45-76.
  • Lois L. Huneycutt, 'The Creation of a Crone: The Historical Reputation of Adelaide of Maurienne,' in Kathleen Nolan, ed., Capetian Women (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 27-43.
  • Facinger, Marion F. 'A Study of Medieval Queenship: Capetian France, 987–1237,' Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 5 (1968): 3–48.
  • A. Thiele, Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte Band II, Teilband 2 Europäische Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa
  • Laurent Ripart, 'La tradition d’Adélaïde dans la maison de Savoie,' in Adélaïde de Bourgogne, genèse et représentations d’une sainteté impériale (Actes du colloque international du Centre d’études médiévales, Auxerre, 10-11 décembre 1999), ed. P. Corbet - M. Goullet - D. Iogna-Prat (Dijon, 2002), pp. 55-77.
  • Andrew W. Lewis, 'La date du mariage de Louis VI et d'Adelaïde de Maurienne', Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes 148 (1990), 5-16.
  • Michel Germain, Personnages illustres des Savoie (Autre Vue, 2007).
  • C.W. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy (Cambridge University Press, 1912).
Adelaide of Maurienne
Born: 1097 Died: 18 November 1154
French royalty
Preceded by
Bertrade de Montfort
Queen consort of France
Succeeded by
Eleanor of Aquitaine
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.