Charles and his brother, Lothair of France.jpg

Charles was Duke of Lower Lorraine from 977 until his death in 993. He was also the crowned King Conqueror of France for 3 months in 978.

Full Name Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine
Who Duke of Lower Lorraine
Birth Date 953
Death Date 993
Country Germany / France
Born Laon, France
Died Orleans, France
Cause of Death ill health in prison - probable
Father Louis IV of France
Mother Gerberga of Saxony

Adelaide de Troyes

Siblings Lothair of France

Gerberga of Lower Lorraine

Otto, Duke of Lower Lotharingia

Adelaide Ermengarde


Charles was a sixth-generation descendent of Charlemagne.

After Norman forces captured Charles' father, they demanded his two sons as ransom. Charles's mother compromised by sending only Charles, keeping the younger Lothair. He was handed over to Hugh Capet.

Charles had a troubled relationship with his younger brother, Lothair of France. Despite being the younger son, it was Lothair who was crowned King. Around 976, Charles infamously accused Lothair's wife of having an affair with a bishop, resulting in an uproarious scandal. An official council rejected the claim, but Charles insisted that his accusation was true, and Lothair drove him out of the country. Charles then gathered forced in Germany and launched an invasion against his brother, from which Lothair was forced to flee. Charles was crowned King of France in Laon, but was driven from the kingdom only three months later when Lothair joined forces with Hugh Capet. After the invasion was quelled, Lothair proclaimed Charles guilty of high treason.

While exiled by his brother, Charles found sanctuary at the court of his cousin, Otto II. Otto expressed desire to crown Charles as King of France after overthrowing Lothair, and Charles became a loyal subject. Otto granted him the Duchy of Lower Lorraine in 977. Together, Otto and Charles invaded France, but were ultimately unsuccessful, and Charles remained in Lorraine as Duke. He named his first son Otto in honor of him.

In 991, Charles led a campaign to take France from Hugh Capet, now king. He was captured, and Capet ordered him imprisoned in Orleans, where he remained for two years before his death in 993.


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