Waldrada of Lotharingia
Waldrada's family origin is uncertain. A prolific 19th-century French writer Baron Ernouf suggested that Waldrada was of noble Gallo-Roman family, sister of Thietgaud, the bishop of Trier, and niece of Ghunter, the archbishop of Cologne.. However, these suggestions are not supported by any evidence, and more recent studies have instead suggested she was of relatively undistinguished social origins, though still from an aristocratic milieu. The Vita Sancti Deicoli states that Waldrada was related to Eberhard II, Count of Nordgau (included Strasbourg) family of Etichonids, though this is a late 10th-century source and so may not be entirely reliable on this question.
In 855 the Carolingian king Lothar II married Teutberga, a Carolingian aristocrat and the daughter of Bosonid Boso the Elder. The marriage was arranged by Lothar's father Lothar I for political reasons. It is very probable that Waldrada was already Lothar II's mistress at this time.
Teutberga was allegedly not capable of bearing children and Lothar's reign was chiefly occupied by his efforts to obtain an annulment of their marriage, and his relations with his uncles Charles the Bald and Louis the German were influenced by his desire to obtain their support for this endeavour. Lothair, whose desire for annulment was prompted by his affection for Waldrada, put away Teutberga, but Hucbert took up arms on her behalf, and after she had submitted successfully to the ordeal of water, Lothair was compelled to restore her in 858. Still pursuing his purpose, he won the support of his brother, Emperor Louis II, by a cession of lands and obtained the consent of the local clergy to the annulment and to his marriage with Waldrada, which took place in 862.
With the support of Charles the Bald and Louis the German, Teutberga appealed the annulment to Pope Nicholas I. Nicholas refused to recognize the annulment and excommunicated Waldrada in 866, forcing Lothair to abandon Waldrada in favour of Teutberga.
Waldrada and Lothair II had some sons and probably three daughters, all of whom were declared illegitimate:
- Hugh (c. 855–895), Duke of Alsace (867–885)
- Gisela (c. 865–908), who in 883 married Godfrey, the Viking leader ruling in Frisia, who was murdered in 885
- Bertha (c. 863–925), who married Theobald of Arles (c. 854–895), count of Arles, nephew of Teutberga. They had two sons Hugh of Italy and Boso of Tuscany. After Theobald's death, between 895 and 898 she married Adalbert II of Tuscany (c. 875–915) They had at least three children: Guy, who succeeded his father as count and duke of Lucca and margrave of Tuscany, Lambert succeeded his brother in 929, but lost the titles in 931 to his half-brother Boso of Tuscany, and Ermengard.
- Ermengarde (d. 90?)
- Odo (d. c.879)
- (in French) Baron Ernouf (1858) Histoire de Waldrade, de Lother II et de leurs descendants, p. 3
- (in French) Baron Ernouf (1858) Histoire de Waldrade, de Lother II et de leurs descendants, p. 5
- K. Schmid, Ein karolingischer Königseintrag im Gedenkbuch von Remiremont, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 2, 1968, pp. 96-134
- Monumenta Germanica Historica, tomus XV.2, Vita Sancti Deicoli, p. 679.
- Monumenta Germanica Historica, tomus I: Annales Lobienses, anno 855, p. 232
- Wickham, Chris (1990). Early Medieval Italy: Central Power and Local Society 400-1000. University of Michigan Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 0-472-08099-7.
- Townsend, Geo (1847) Ecclesiastical and Civil History Philosophically Considered, Vol. II, p. 157