Adela of Normandy Haiku

Scores claim saintly mom.

But how many have Vatican

Backing that claim up?

Mothers of Kings Week continues with Adela of Normandy, Countess of Blois!

We’re not exactly sure when Adela was born. Most folk think it happened after her pops, William the Conqueror, looked at England and said ‘i want dis’. In any case, she grew up well-educated and BFFs with her bro Henry (the future Henry I). Her first engagement fell through because her betrothed decided to run away and become a monk. In the early 80’s, she got hitched to Stephen II, Count of Blois. Mazeltov!

Stephen recognized he had a lovely, brainy catch in his wife, even though she was twenty-some-odd years younger than him. This was demonstrated by him making her regent when he decided to go crusading in 1196. By all accounts, including Stephen’s, she did a bang up job.

Then Stephen came back. Adela wasn’t happy. “Dude, the treasures you brought back are nice, but you screwed your comrades over. Go back and finish the job.” She continued on these lines while they were having sex. So back he went, getting killed at the Battle of Ramla in 1102, after his commander made some spectacularly bad decisions and abandoned everyone.

Welp. Widowhood. As her boys were all underage, she kept on as regent. The inheritance went to her second son, as she believed her first son wasn’t very bright. The third boy, Stephen, went off to stay with Uncle Henry. The fourth boy became a construction-mad bishop.

In 1120, Adela retired to a convent – not a bad option for noble ladies, provided they weren’t shoved into one by shitty husbands. Unfortunately, that same year, her daughter Lucia-Mahaut became one of the many victims of the White Ship sinking.

She lived long enough to see her boy Stephen seize the throne of England, but whatever she thought of this is a big ol’ mystery. Because of the convent thing, and all the money she gave to the church, she was canonized after her death in 1137.

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