With the ascendancy of his mother Irene as regent, the [[iconoclast]]ic policies of Leo IV and Leo's father, [[Constantine V]], were overturned, even though Constantine VI appeared to sympathize with the iconoclastic ideas of his father and grandfather.
Under arrangements by his mother, Constantine was engaged in 782 to Rotrude, a daughter of Charlemagne by his third wife, Hildegard. However, in 788 Irene broke off the engagement. Irene then arranged a marriage for Constantine to Maria of Amnia in November 788. Constantine and Maria had two daughters, Euphrosyne and Irene. The [[marriage]] between Constantine and Maria was not a smooth one, and since Maria had not produced a male heir Constantine forced her to become a [[nun]] in 793. This allowed Constantine to marry his mistress, Theodote, who was a lady-in-waiting for Irene. The marriage produced a son, Leo, who died in 797. This marriage, whose legality was seriously questioned, was very unpopular with the Church, although the [[patriarch]]
, Tarasios, ignored it. Through this marriage and ongoing palace intrigues, Constantine lost support of both the ruling Orthodox parties and the iconoclastic opposition.
Under the regency of Irene, Constantine signed in 787 the decrees that convened the Church council that as the [[Seventh Ecumenical Council]] affirmed the [[veneration]] of images, thus overturning the iconoclastic policies of his father and grandfather.
before= Leo IV|
after=Irene of Athens}}