Assassinated on 24th February 1386, Charles of Durazzo, Italian Carlo Di Durazzo, was the King of Naples and titular King of Jerusalem from 1382 till his assassination date. Throughout his reign, he was referred to as Charles III as King of Naples and Charles II as King of Hungary from 1385 to 1386.
He earned his education at the court of Louis I of Hungary. He got married to his cousin Margaret, daughter of Charles of Durazzo and Mary of Naples in 1369 and effectively placed himself as the Neapolitan’s throne heir, reports Britannica
Queen Joan I of Naples and Margret’s aunt was childless and had always considered Charles as the heir to her throne until her adoption of Louis, duc d’Anjou, as her heir.
Charles was named the King of Naples in 1381 by Pope Urban VI and his immediate action, with the help of Margret, was to seize Naples and imprison Joan, who was executed a year later on as a result of the King’s order.
Childhood and youth
Charles of Durazzo was the only child to Louis of Durazzo and his wife, Margaret of Sanseverino. His exact date of birth is a disputed matter, with some historians claiming he was born in 1354 while others believe he was born in 1357.
In 1360 during the Spring season, Louis of Durazzo rebelled against his cousins, Joanna I of Naples, and her husband, Louis of Taranto but was defeated. With the loss, Charles’ father was forced to let go of his only son and child to serve Queen Joanna I as a hostage. Louis of Durazzo himself was imprisoned and died still a prisoner in 1362.
With the death of Charles’ father, the Queen ordered that Charles be treated in an honorable manner that would still retain his royal status.
Louis I of Hungary, a distant cousin to Charles and had lived a fatherless life, invited Charles to Hungary. Charles honored the invitation in 1364 or 1365 (another disputed date).
The earlier arrangement was for Charles to get married to Anne, the daughter to Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. This marriage did not take place due to a deteriorating relationship between Louis I and Charles IV.
Louis came up with a new proposal that eventually led to the marriage of Charles and his cousin Margaret of Durazzo.
Louis of Hungary died in 1382 and Charles assumed the throne of Hungary over Louis’s 10-year-old daughter, Maria. His ascend to power was supported by Hungarian court that didn’t want Mary any close to power.
King Charles III was assassinated as a result of an order from Louis’s widowed queen, Elizabeth.