Emma of Normandy
Emma (c. 988-March 6, 1052), daughter of Richard I, Duke of Normandy, by his second wife Gunnora, was twice Queen consort of the Kingdom of England by marriage, first (1002-1016) to king Ethelred the Unready and then (1017-1035) to Canute, king also of Denmark and Norway. Two of her sons - one by each husband - and two step-sons also became king of England, as did her great-nephew, William the Conqueror.
Upon the Danish invasion of England in 1013, Emma took her sons by Ethelred - Alfred and Edward - to Normandy, where they remained upon her return to England to marry Canute, now king of England following the death of Ethelred and his son (her step-son) Edmund II Ironside.
Following Canute's death, Alfred and Edward returned in 1036, possibly in an attempt to overthrow Canute's illegitimate son Harold Harefoot, who had established himself as ruler in the absence of Harthacanute, son of Canute and Emma. Alfred was captured and died after being blinded, while Edward escaped to Normandy, followed by his mother.
The death of Harold in 1040 and the accession of the more conciliatory Harthacanute paved the way for Edward's return to England the next year as co-ruler and (1042) king on Harthacanute's death. Emma returned to England and was pushed aside by Edward, as she supported Magnus the Noble, not Edward. (She is not known to have had any love for her children from her first marriage.) Emma's marriages and subsequent role forged the link between England and Normandy which was to culminate in her great-nephew William of Normandy's invasion of England in 1066.
Partial family tree
Richard = Gunnora | ---------------------------- | | Aelgifu = Ethelred = EMMA = Canute - Elgifu Richard = Judith | | | | | Edmund Edward Harthacanute Harold Herleva - Robert | William
Emma in Fiction
Helen Hollick. The Hollow Crown. (August 2004) William Heinemann, Random House. ISBN 0-434-00491-X; Arrow paperback ISBN 0-09-927234-2. This is a historical novel about Queen Emma of Normandy, explaining why she was so indifferent to the children of her first marriage.