b. circa 931, France; d. 999, Alsace, France
Adelaide, the daughter of King Rudolf II of Burgundy, married Lothar, king of Italy and the son of her father’s enemy, as part of a peace settlement. When Lothar died, Adelaide was imprisoned by his successor and usurper, who attempted to marry her to his son. She escaped and appealed to Otto I of Germany for help in regaining the throne. Otto conquered Italy and married Adelaide in 951. When he was crowned Holy Roman emperor in 962, Adelaide was crowned empress in the same ceremony and from that point on wielded significant power, which included the management of her own lands. Surviving both Otto I and her son Otto II, she devoted the later years of her life to charity and prayer.