Charlotte Branwell discovered her pregnancy with Charles in late August of 1878. During this time the Branwells were being investigated for the problems at the London Institute due to the Magister. When Charlotte revealed that she was indeed pregnant, Charles's father, Henry, and the rest of the London Institute were overjoyed.
For months, Charlotte and Henry bickered over a name. Henry wanted the child named Buford, an apparently traditional Yorkshire name as well as his father's, but Charlotte found the name horrible. Finally, after Charlotte became the Consul, they settled on Charles Fairchild. However, Henry still insisted on Buford and the couple settled with at least making it his middle name. He was given his mother's maiden name, Fairchild, as she was the Consul. For that Christmas, his mother's good friend Sophie Collins knitted him a baby blanket with the initials CF in the corner as a present.
For a few years, Charles and his family lived in the London Institute before Charlotte felt ready to move their family to Idris, where she needed to accomplish her duties as Consul.
At one point in his youth, Charles took an interest in Charlotte's work, eventually developing aspirations to one day become Consul like her. Charles grew to become a serious-minded but reliable man, who would sometimes point out in exasperation that Matthew, already at fifteen years, should finally grow up. Their family moved back to London sometime prior to 1901.
In 1901, Charles was told that Charlotte was pregnant with a third child, making him occasionally snap at Matthew when he bothered her. Matthew misunderstood the common, seemingly distracted behavior from the three and thought that their parents were separating. When Charlotte suddenly collapsed one morning during breakfast, Charles panicked and thought that it was due to exhaustion from Portaling back and forth between London and Idris. He and Cook then left to call for a Silent Brother. Charlotte, Henry, and Matthew later learned that she had suffered a miscarriage.
Weeks after the incident, Charles was sent off to Paris to become the interim head of the Paris Institute for at least a year. Around that time, Maurice Bridgestock and his wife tried to set him up with their daughter, Ariadne. Charles entertained the idea and told Ariadne of his intent to spend time with her upon his return.
During his time as the head of the Paris Institute, Charles met and fell in love with Alastair Carstairs, who reciprocated his feelings. Not wanting to jeopardize his dream to become Consul, Charles and Alastair agreed to keep their relationship secret. Charles promised that his engagement to Ariadne would be temporary, but he had planned to follow through with the wedding, while still remaining to keep his relationship with Alastair on the side.
Years later, in 1937, Charles was present at Will Herondale's deathbed because the Fairchilds were like family to the Herondales. While there, he is assumed to have brought his sons and/or daughters with him.
Charles inherited his father's red hair and has green eyes.
Charles is a serious individual with an interest in his goals and ambitions. For that end, he would sacrifice personal relationships if it means putting his goals in jeopardy, including his relationship with Alastair Carstairs. His stern personality puts him at odds with his younger brother, Matthew, who appears more flamboyant and carefree.
- Clockwork Prince (first mention)
- Clockwork Prince: Manga (mentioned only)
- Clockwork Princess (mentioned only)
- Clockwork Princess: Manga (mentioned only)
- Nothing but Shadows (mentioned only)
- Cast Long Shadows
- Every Exquisite Thing
- Chain of Gold
- He is gay.