Alternate History

Charles of Lower Lorraine (The Once and Never Kings)

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Charles IV
Lothar1 karel.jpg
Charles IV, King of the Franks, Duke of Lower Lorraine
King of the Franks (as Charles IV)
Reign 24 October, 990 - 993
Predecessor Hugh I
Successor Otto
Duke of Lower Lorraine
Reign 977 - 993
Predecessor Richar
Successor Otto
Spouse Adelaide of Troyes
Issue Gerberga
House Carolingian
Father Louis IV
Mother Gerberga of Saxony
Born 953
Died 993

Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, more commonly referred to as Charles IV, King of the Franks, was the first ruler of Francia in the 990-1012 Carolingian Restoration.


Charles was born in 953 in Loan, the son of King Louis IV, and younger brother of King Lothair. As the younger brother, Charles was often overlooked and regarded as expendable. Indeed, when the Normans captured Louis IV and demanded his sons as ransoms, Queen Gerberga refused to send Lothair and sent only Charles.

Around 976, Charles accused Lothairs wife, Emma, of infidelity. A council later exonerated her, and Charles, who refused to drop the charge, was driven out of Francia. He then went into the court of his cousin, Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, and after paying him homage, received the Duchy of Lower Lorraine.

In 978, Lothair invaded Germany, even taking the imperial capital of Aachen, but didn't capture either Otto or Charles. Later that year, Charles and Otto counter attacked, ravaging the area around Rheims. But defeats at the hands of a relief army commanded by Hugh Capet forced the German army back, and recaptured Aachen, and forcing Otto to sue for peace.

As Charles was technically still a vassal of Lothair, Charles was regarded as a traitor, thus excluding him from the throne. Therefore, when Lothair died in 986, the French magnates elected his son, Louis V, King, and after Louis's death a year later, Hugh Capet.

Charles immediately contested the election, raising his armies to seize the throne by force. He found allies in the Counts of Flanders and Vermandois, and the Bishops of Rheims and Laon. His forces were able to corner those of Hugh outside of Rheims in 990, resulting in the death of Capet himself.

After Hugh Capets death, resistance to Charles effectively collapsed, allowing Charles to make himself King. His reign would be short, however, and he would die of health complications in 993. In the ensuing election, his son, Otto, would be elected King, though he would be the last Carolingian monarch.


All of Charles' five children would by Adelaide of Troyes

  • Gerberga
  • Otto, elected King of the Ftanks in 993.
  • Louis
  • Charles
  • Adelaide

Template:TONK Francia Emperors

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