Charles III "the Short", King of Naples, Hungary and Croatia

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Charles III "the Short" d'Angiò Durazzo

English (default): Charles III "the Short", Italian: Carlo III "il Piccolo" d'Angiò Durazzo, re di Napoli e Ungheria
Also Known As: "della Pace", "il Piccolo", "Carlo III di Napoli", "Carlo II d'ungheria"
Birthplace: Durazzo (Durres) prefecture of W. Albania.
Death: February 24, 1386 (40-41)
Budapest, Hungary
Place of Burial: King of Naples
Immediate Family:

Son of Louis d'Anjou, comte de Gravina and Margareta Sanseverino
Husband of Margherita di Durazzo
Father of Joanna II d'Angiò-Durazzo, queen of Naples and Ladislaus "the Magnanimous" d'Angiò-Durazzo, king of Naples
Brother of Johann Horwarth Prinz von Durazzo

Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:

About Charles III "the Short", King of Naples, Hungary and Croatia

Charles the Short or Charles of Durazzo (1345 – 24 February 1386) was King of Naples and titular King of Jerusalem from 1382 to 1386 as Charles III, and King of Hungary from 1385 to 1386 as Charles II. In 1382 Charles created the order of Argonauts of Saint Nicholas. In 1383 he succeeded to the Principality of Achaea on the death of James of Baux.

Succession in Naples

He was the son of Louis of Durazzo and Margaret of Sanseverino. As the great-grandchild of King Charles II of Naples, he was a second cousin to Queen Joan I (both agnatically) and also adopted by her as a child, since he was the only male of the senior Angevin line of Sicily. Joan I was infatuated with him throughout her life. However, much to her displeasure, her romantic interest in him was never requited. In 1369 he married Margaret of Durazzo, the daughter of Joan's younger sister Marie, and his own first cousin.

The conflict between Joan and Pope Urban VI caused the Pope (as feudal overlord of the kingdom) to declare her dethroned in 1381 and give the kingdom to Charles. He marched on the Kingdom of Naples with a Hungarian army, defeated the King Consort Otto, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen at San Germano, seized the city and besieged her in the Castel dell'Ovo. After Otto's failed attempt to relieve her, Charles captured her and had her imprisoned at San Fele. Soon afterwards, when reached by news that her adopted heir, Louis I of Anjou, was setting an expedition to conquer back Naples, Charles had the Queen strangled in prison in 1382. Then he succeeded to the crown.

War for Naples

Louis's expedition counted to some 40,000 troops, including those of Amadeus VI of Savoy, and had the financial support of Antipope Clement VII and Bernabò Visconti of Milan. Charles, who counted on the mercenary companies under John Hawkwood and Bartolomeo d'Alviano, for a total of some 14,000 men, was able to divert the French from Naples to other regions of the kingdom and to harass them with guerrilla tactics. Amadeus fell ill and died in Molise on 1 March 1383, and his troops abandoned the field. Louis asked for help to his king in France, who sent him an army under Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy. The latter was able to conquer Arezzo and then invade the Kingdom of Naples, but midway was reached by the news that Louis had suddenly died at Bisceglie on 20 September 1384.

In the meantime relationships with Urban VI became strained, as he suspected that Charles was plotting against him. In January 1385 he had six cardinals arrested, and one, under torture, revealed Charles' conjure. He thus excommunicated Charles, his wife and raised an interdict over the Kingdom of Naples. The King replied sending Alberico da Barbiano to besiege the pope in Nocera. After six months of siege, Urban was freed by two Neapolitan barons who had sided with Louis of Anjou, Raimondello Orsini and Tommaso di Sanseverino.

Succession in Hungary

While Urban took refuge in Genoa, Charles left the Kingdom to move to Hungary. Here, on the death of Louis I of Hungary, he had claimed the Hungarian throne as the senior Angevin male, and ousted Louis' daughter Mary of Hungary in December, 1385. However, Elisabeth of Bosnia, widow of Louis and mother of Mary, arranged to have Charles assassinated on 7 February 1386. He died of wounds at Visegrád on 24 February.

He was buried in Belgrade. His son Ladislaus succeeded him in Naples, while the regents of Mary of Hungary reinstated her as Queen of Hungary.

 Charles III and Margaret of Durazzo had three children:
  • Mary of Durazzo (1369 - 1371).
  • Joan II of Naples (23 June 1373 – 2 February 1435).
  • Ladislaus of Naples (11 February 1377 – 6 August 1414).


CHARLES di Durazzo, son of LOUIS di Durazzo Conte di Gravina & his wife Margherita Sanseverino (1345-in prison Visegrad 24 Feb 1386, bur Belgrade, St Andrew (1345-in prison Visegrad 24 Feb 1386, bur Belgrade, St Andrew). From 1365, he lived at the court of Lajos King of Hungary, who created him Prince of Croatia and Slavonia. Captain of the King of Hungary 1379, he led the army against the Venetians. Called by Pope Urban VI to conquer the throne of Sicily, he entered Rome 11 Nov 1380 where the Pope made him a senator and invested him 1 Jun 1381 as CHARLES III King of Sicily and Jerusalem. He entered Naples 16 Jul 1381, and forced Queen Jeanne I to concede. On the death of Lajos King of Hungary in 1382 he claimed the Hungarian throne as nearest male relative. A rebellion, led by Jan Horvat Ban of Mačva and his brother Paul Bishop of Zagreb, broke out in Hungary in 1385[951]. King Carlo invaded Hungary, captured Zagreb and Buda, and was crowned KAROLY King of Hungary at Alba Regia 31 Dec 1385. He was arrested at Buda Castle, on a visit to Queen Maria and her mother, 7 Feb 1386, and died in prison from his injuries. The Annales Ludovici di Raimo record the death "al Reame d´Ungria in Buda" in 1386 of "Re Carlo III"[952].

m (contract 15 Jun 1369, dispensation 9 Jan 1369/70, Naples Castel Capuano 24 Jan 1369/70) his first cousin, MARGUERITE di Durazzo, daughter of CHARLES di Durazzo Duke of Durazzo & his wife Marie of Sicily (1347-Acqua della Mela, near San Severino di Salerno 6 Aug 1412, bur Salerno, San Francesco Cathedral).

King Charles III & his wife had three children:

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Charles III "the Short", King of Naples, Hungary and Croatia's Timeline

Durazzo (Durres) prefecture of W. Albania.
June 25, 1371
Zadar, Croatia
February 11, 1377
Naples (Italy)
February 24, 1386
Age 41
Budapest, Hungary
King of Naples