Week-end en famille. Week-end for our royal friends. Chlodowig and Chlothildis. We suspect that the gentleman on the left with a Roman armour and the requisite long hair with Barbarian helmet is the father of our axe-wielding youngsters. Why? Have you looked at the quality of the chair. Plus the only other sitter is the Queen and her maids. Yet, only her wears some kind of crown.
So you are privy to a intimate moment of the private lives of the official first king of France and the just as officially registered as first queen. And their brood. The oldest young man who is trying to learn the fine art of throwing an hatchet is Theuderic. Born to Clovis (less letters and easier to type) and his first wife. Mother has either died in childbirth or was repudiated. Whatever she is nameless. And he is raised by his step-mother. Papa has shown his two eldest how to do the trick and now it is Theuderic’s turn. Yes, the axe is in the axe…
Next to follow and less than two years apart Chlodomir (remember the name) who hopes to outdo his eldest and outdo him as an adult much later. Near his mama: Childebert way too young to come close to a weapon. Though most probably he already has his own small dagger. And not yet born but already here Chlothar.
Near the king, some warriors. Not his kinsmen. Chlodowech has already got rid of them. The Frankish realm will be ruled by his own bloodline. Not a distant cousin. Near the Queen : a bishop and two priests. Chlothildis is a Christian of Roman obedience. She played a major role in her husband’s decision to become a Christian. Much later, both will become saints and are still qualified as such. I suspect the Church is still thankful
Finally, some courtiers, maids of honour and the hatchet.
This is it…is it? The king is educating his sons to become warriors. The queen provides cultural and evangelical curriculum. Yes, probably it did happen. Somehow like that. We are in Paris, in the old basilica. Still fit enough to accomodate the rough living of dapper Barbarians.
And time flies. Clovis dies. And his sons are grown men. The four of them and one large kingdom. To Theuderic, the Rheims realm. Not bad (champers for you).
Chlodomir gets also a nice slice. Orleans. Childebert gets Paris and Cholthar the youngest the smallest share. Chlothar may be the benjamin; he is as ruthless as his father. He will instigate ten years after his father’s death the murder of Chlodomir and importantly the murder of his nephews. Richard III has invented nothing.
Only one will survive. Chlodoald who will be known much later as Saint Cloud. He will enter the priesthood, cutting his hair hence saving his life (only kings and their heirs could have long hair; by shroving his Cloud saved his life)
Saint Cloud is today a quiet Parisian suburb with an hellish road tunnel; Cloud never became king. I suspect the daily traffic jams in the said tunnel are his revenge.
Just before killing their nephews, the three brothers asked their mother if she would countenance them entering a monastery. Chlothildis, Saint Clotilde replies: better dead than shorn. A servant disobeyed and allowed Cloud to survive.
Told you: they all die young. And quite often not peacefully at all.