Spouse Edmund I, King of England
Issue Eadwig, King of England and Edgar, King of England
The sources do not record the date of Ælfgifu's marriage to Edmund. The eldest son Eadwig, who had barely reached majority on his accession in 955, may have been born around 940, which gives us only a very rough terminus ante quem for the betrothal. Although as the mother of two future kings, Ælfgifu proved to be an important royal bed companion, there is no strictly contemporary evidence that she was ever consecrated as queen. Likewise, her formal position at court appears to have been relatively insignificant, overshadowed as it was by the queen mother Eadgifu of Kent. In the single extant document witnessed by her, a Kentish charter datable between 942 and 944, she subscribes as the king's concubine (concubina regis), with a place assigned to her between the bishops and ealdormen. By comparison, Eadgifu subscribes higher up in the witness list as mater regis, after her sons Edmund and Eadred but before the archbishops and bishops. It is only towards the end of the 10th century that Æthelweard the Chronicler styles her queen (regina), but this may be a retrospective honour at a time when her cult was well established at Shaftesbury.