Bertrada of Laon

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Bertrada of Laon
Bertrada de Laon detail.JPG
Tomb of Bertrada of Laon at Saint Denis basilica
Spouse(s) Pepin the Short
Father Caribert of Laon
Mother Gisele of Aquitaine
Born between 710 and 727
Died 12 July 783(783-07-12)
Buried 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, Choisy) was a Frankish queen.


She was born in Laon, in today's Aisne, France, daughter of Count Charibert de Laon (Caribert of Laon) and Gisele of Aquitaine. She married Pepin the Short, the son of Charles Martel, the Frankish "Mayor of the Palace", 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.

Some historians credit Bertrada's support for her elder son Charles over her younger son Carloman, and her diplomatic skills, for Charles' early success. [1]Although her influence over him may have diminished in time, she lived at his court, and according to Einhard their relationship was excellent. She recommended that he set aside his legal wife, Himiltrude, and marry 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 the Saint Denis Basilica with great honors.


  1. ^ David Levering Lewis, God's Crucible

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Preceded by
Queen of the Franks
Succeeded by
Desiderata and Gerberga