Pilgrim to the Holy Land, count of Flanders (1119-1127), and potential claimant to the throne of Jerusalem.
Charles was born in Denmark, the son of Knud the Holy, king of Denmark (1080-1086), and Adela, daughter of Robert I, count of Flanders. When Knud was murdered by political opponents in Denmark (1086), Adela fled with Charles to the court of her brother Robert II of Flanders (1087-1111), and Charles grew up there. Around 1107 he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and fought alongside the army of Baldwin I of Jerusalem. In 1119 he succeeded his cousin Baldwin VII as count of Flanders. In 1123, while King Baldwin II of Jerusalem was a prisoner of the Turks, Charles was offered the throne of Jerusalem by a faction of the kingdom’s ruling classes that was opposed to Baldwin’s policies and favoritism, but he declined to pursue the opportunity. He was murdered on 2 March 1127 in the Church of St. Donatian in Bruges as a result of a conspiracy centered on the Erembalds, a powerful Flemish family whose influence he was attempting to curtail.