Charles was baptized by St Rigobert, bishop of Reims. At the death of his father in 714, Pippin's widow Plectrude claimed the government in Austrasia and Neustria in the name of her grandchildren, and had Charles thrown into prison.
In the general anarchy Charles succeeded in escaping, defeated the Neustrians at Ambleve, south of Liege, in 716, and at Vincy, near Cambrai, in 717, and forced them to come to terms. In Austrasia he wrested the power from Plectrude, and took the title of mayor of the palace, thus prejudicing the interests of his nephews.
But the Austrasians (fl54,4J) appealed to an illegitimate son of Pippin, Charles Martel, who had escaped from the prison to which Plectrude, alarmed at his prowess, had consigned him, and took him for their leader.