Charles was born in Naples in 1298,during the reign of his grandfather King Charles II,the son of Prince Robert and Yolanda of Aragon.Little is known of his early life,so one can assume that he spent his early years at the court of his grandfather.IN 1309,when Charles was 11 years old,his 56 year old grandfather died and his father became King Robert the Wise.It was then that he became Duke of Calabria and was created Vicar-General of the Kingdom of Sicily (Naples). His father intended him to lead the force sent to aid Florence in 1315, but was constrained by time to send Robert's brother, Philip I of Taranto, instead. The Florentine-Neapolitan coalition was badly beaten at the ensuing Battle of Montecatini.
The victory of Castruccio Castracani at Altopascio in 1325 led the Florentines to elect Charles signore (lord) of the city for ten years in 1326. At the time, he was unsuccessfully attempting to seize Sicily from his first cousin Frederick III, and sent Walter VI of Brienne as his deputy until he could arrive, where Walter made a (misleadingly) favorable impression. While Charles' arrival checked Castruccio, he exacted onerous taxes from the Florentines, until he was recalled to Naples in December 1327 due to the advance of Emperor Louis IV into Italy. There he died in 1328. He left as heir his eldest surviving daughter, Joanna; a posthumous daughter, Marie, was born in 1329.