Charles II of Navarre

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Charles II (Évreux, 10 October 1332 – 1 January 1387 in Pamplona), called "Charles the Bad", was King of Navarre 1349-1387 and Count of Évreux 1343-1387.

Besides the Pyrenean Kingdom of Navarre, he had extensive lands in Normandy, inherited from his father, Count Philip of Évreux, and his mother, Queen Joan II of Navarre, who had received them as compensation for resigning her claims to France, Champagne, and Brie in 1328. Thus, in Northern France, Charles possessed Évreux, Mortain, parts of Vexin, and a portion of Cotentin. He was a major player at a critical juncture in the Hundred Years' War between France and England, allying alternately with both powers and repeatedly switching sides in order to further his own agenda.



Since his father was first cousin to King Philip VI of France and his mother Joan II of Navarre was the only child of King Louis X, Charles of Navarre was 'born of the fleur de lys on both sides', as he liked to point out, but he succeeded to a shrunken inheritance as far as his French lands were concerned. After he succeeded to the crown of Navarre in October 1349 Charles II visited his kingdom to be crowned in summer 1350 but otherwise apart from short visits spent the first 12 years of his reign almost entirely in France; he regarded Navarre principally as a source of manpower with which to advance his designs to become a major power in France. He hoped for a long time for recognition of his claim to the crown of France (as son of the daughter of King Louis X and as great-grandson - in unbroken male descent - of Philip III).

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