REGNO UNITO

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Danesi, normanni e la successione al trono inglese

Nel passato per stringere alleanze si ricorreva spesso ad un matrimonio d’interesse.

Fu così che nel 1002 Etelredo sposò Emma, figlia di Riccardo duca di Normandia, un sovrano che aveva dato rifugio alle flotte vichinghe.

Nello stesso anno Sweyn I, condottiero vichingo e padre di Canuto il Grande, ricevette 24.000 sterline come tributo.
L'unione normanna
Sweyn I
Etelredo fu molto criticato per aver pagato questa tassa dal momento che gli attacchi continuarono.

Tuttavia questa era una politica che anche Alfredo aveva utilizzato, in questo modo c’era tempo per riorganizzare le proprie forze.

Nel 1008 Etelredo fece costruire 200 navi, oltre a cotte di maglia ed elmi per equipaggiare 9000 uomini. Nel 1012 preso al suo servizio uno dei vichinghi più conosciuto Thorkell l’Alto.


Ma nessuno di questi sforzi servì per sconfiggere Sweyn, che conquistò il regno tra il 1010 e il 1013, costringendo Etelredo all’esilio in Normandia presso il suocero.

Alla morte di Sweyn, nel febbraio 1014, gli successe il figlio Canuto.

Etelredo tornò per contestare la successione ma morì nell’aprile 1016. Lasciò il comando al figlio maggiore (illegittimo) Edmondo “Ironside”, ma nonostante il suo coraggio in battaglia Edmondo fu ucciso, lasciando Canuto sovrano indiscusso dell’Inghilterra, che prese Emma come sua regina.

Nel frattempo, in Normandia, i parenti della sovrana diedero rifugio a due giovani principi: Alfredo e Edoardo.

Nel 1035 Canuto morì, senza designare un successore. Ciò spinse Alfredo e Edoardo a tentare un colpo militare.

Edoardo sbarcò a Southampton, ma fu cacciato, mentre Alfredo arrivò a Dover, apparentemente cercando incontrare la madre a Winchester. Lungo la via si imbatté in uno dei più importanti conti di Canuto, Godwin, che lo consegnò prontamente al nuovo re, Harold, figlio illegittimo di Canuto.

Alfredo non sopravvisse a lungo e morì poco dopo essere stato accecato e mandato al monastero di Ely.

Harold aveva ancora un rivale: Harthacanuto, il figlio legittimo di Canuto ed Emma, che successe ad Harold alla sua morte nel 1040.

L’anno seguente Harthacanuto invitò Edoardo a ritornare, in qualità di presunto erede, nel regno che aveva lasciato da bambino.

Nel 1042 Harthacanuto morì e la vecchia linea di successione inglese fu restaurata.

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