Boedil Thurgotsdatter

Boedil Thurgotsdatter

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Boedil Turgotsdotter (died 1103) was a medieval Danish queen, queen consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 of King Eric I of Denmark
Eric I of Denmark
Eric I Evergood , also known as Eric the Good, , was King of Denmark following his brother Olaf I Hunger in 1095. He was a son of king Sweyn II Estridsson, by his wife Gunhild Sveinsdotter, and married Boedil Thurgotsdatter.-Biography:...


Bodil was the daughter of the Danish Earl Thrugot Fagerskind and sister of Svend Thrugotsen. Her grandfather, called Galicieulf in the Knytlinga Saga
Knýtlinga saga
Knýtlinga saga is an Icelandic kings' saga written in the 1250s, which deals with the kings who ruled Denmark since the early 10th century....

, was famous as a pilgrimager to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 in Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Her family is believed to be connected to the viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 families in Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, and as a queen, she is listed as a benefactor to the bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

ric of Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. Both she and her spouse were descendants of king Sweyn I of Denmark
Sweyn I of Denmark
Sweyn I Forkbeard was king of Denmark and England, as well as parts of Norway. His name appears as Swegen in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and he is also known in English as Svein, Swein, Sven the Dane, and Tuck.He was a Viking leader and the father of Cnut the Great...


She is believed to have been married to Eric before 1086, as she and her husband lived in exile in the Swedish court during the reign of King Olaf of Denmark
Olaf I of Denmark
Olaf I of Denmark was king of Denmark from 1086 to 1095, following the death of his brother Canute IV the Holy. He was a son of king Sweyn II Estridsson, and the third of Sweyn's sons to rule. He married Ingegard, the daughter of Harald III of Norway, but did not have any children...

 (1086–1095). Contemporary chronicles praise her beauty and character. In Saxo, she was praised for her tolerance of her husband's constant adultery, and it was claimed that she even helped to do the hair for his mistresses.

In about the year of 1100 she accompanied her husband on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He travelled by horse, and she by carriage. He died in Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 on the way, but she continued on her own. She reached the Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters . It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes...

, where she died in 1103.

In 1170, king Valdemar introduced Christian succession to the kingdom of Denmark, and Bodil was declared the only "true wife" of her spouse and the mother of the ruling house of Denmark, and she was given a saintly appearance as such. According to the law of the church, however, her marriage would still have been illegal, as she and her spouse were related, which was therefore long ignored in history, and she was long portrayed as a half sister to the German Roman emperor Henry, and as such was to have been taken as a war prize by Eric. This history revision can be seen as a sign of the new law which separated the status of children born in and out of wedlock.