Earl Charles Grey (チャールズ・グレイ, Chāruzu Gurei) is code-named "Double Charles" (along with his counterpart Charles Phipps), and a member of Queen Victoria's Private Secretarial Officers, as well as her butler. His family is averred to be so famous that a tea flavor is named after them (Earl Grey).
Anime | Manga
Grey has shaggy silver hair, of which most is about chin-length, except for some locks at the rear of his head that extend to the middle of his back, and his forelocks are choppy and uneven. He is roughly a head shorter than Charles Phipps, and is rather boyish in appearance with a skinny body and young facial features that consist of silver eyes and long eyelashes.
His uniform is similar to Phipps's; however, he has some personal adjustments made to it to suit his own style. The pants are tucked into knee-high boots, over which are knee-high spats that have striped tops and bows. He leaves his white swallowtail coat unfastened, exposing a dark, lace-embellished, button-down shirt with a thin, long bow tie around his neck. Over his left breast, he dons a pin that consists of a bow with a profile view of Queen Victoria hanging below it on a short chain. Compared to the ones Phipps and John Brown possess, his jacket has considerably longer coattails. Grey sports a belt slung low on his hips to support a gold-caged rapier on his right-hand side; he also wears black gloves to provide grip when wielding his sword.
Grey is an outgoing, energetic, and vigorous individual with a knack for engaging in close combat; he finds fighting rather thrilling, and refers to it as "play" at times.
Grey enjoys fighting adept opponents in particular; he usually adopts a cheerful demeanor while battling, as indicated when he happily commented on Mey-Rin's double guns and grinned throughout the clash. He has stated that he loves toying with an opponent who "cannot resist," and is inclined to using any sort of method to win, as he hates losing, even if it is only a game. He is arrogant, however, as he consistently views his skills as superior to that of his adversary; nevertheless, the confidence is well-founded, considering his excellence at close-range battles — he was able to cut Mey-Rin's guns in half with a single run past her. He also seems to bear little concern as to whether his opponent is male or female, having stomped on Mey-Rin's chest with enough force to cause her to spit blood and fall to the ground. In spite of his great zeal for fighting, when stopped, Grey will not further exercise aggression. Grey carries his enthusiasm into other aspects of his life and job, as he had joyfully and nonchalantly munched on a sweet after Sebastian Michaelis prevented him from attacking Baldroy.
Despite his typically youthful conduct, Grey is extremely intelligent and astute, as he was fully aware of how to manipulate Ciel Phantomhive into agreeing to an optional mission. It is maintained that he serves England with the same shrewdness that his grandfather did. He is remarkably loyal to Queen Victoria, and dutifully executes his various tasks.
Furthermore, Grey works well with Charles Phipps — they share the code-name "Double Charles" — as they routinely accomplish their missions together. Irrespective of his own eccentricities, Grey is occasionally bemused by Phipps's oddities, as demonstrated by his surprise when Phipps sewed a flower into Finnian's hat in order to patch it. Although Phipps may appear more calm and levelheaded in comparison and thus it may be perceived that he would analyze the small details, it is Grey who often holds suspicions and doubts regarding the mysterious nature of Ciel and Sebastian, while Phipps refrains from prying or looking at things too critically; such as when Grey had pointed out how impossibly quick it was for Ciel and Sebastian to send a package to London from Germany, Phipps merely stated that Ciel must have a lot of connections in the underground society in order to accomplish said task.
Additionally, Grey is afraid of ghosts, claiming that "he only believes in things he can cut with his sword." He also fears snakes. He has a very large appetite, as he had once devoured an entire dinner's worth of curry when he was only "a little hungry." Aside from his seemingly bottomless stomach when it comes to eating, he is a proficient drinker: while Georg von Siemens had fallen ill to wine after only three glasses, Grey casually relished in a mountain of glasses and flasks.
At a fencing match, a young Grey and Charles Phipps watched as two opponents fought each other. Phipps asked if the victorious contestant was Alexis Leon Midford's son, the one rumored to be a genius with the sword. Grey corrected him, revealing that the genius was the daughter, Elizabeth Midford. Phipps observed her curiously, while Grey scowled.
From afar, Grey, Charles Phipps, and John Brown watch Kelvin's manor burn. Phipps comments that they are there to document the goings-on and report back to Queen Victoria. Grey speaks of the possibility of Ciel Phantomhive, "the poor thing," getting punished, and Phipps says that that is for the Queen to decide.
Phantomhive Manor Murders Arc
Queen Victoria has ordered Grey to kill Georg von Siemens, a banker and central figure in the expansion and advancement of Germany's heavy industries, in order to prevent the growth of Germany's military power. She has also instructed Grey to frame Ciel Phantomhive for the murder as punishment for the unsatisfying results of the Noah's Ark Circus incident.
Sometime after, Grey arrives with Charles Phipps at the Phantomhive Manor, where they let themselves in by cutting down the door. Baldroy and Mey-Rin are in the kitchen—the room Phipps and Grey have invaded—and they immediately go on the defensive. While Phipps observes from the side, Grey battles Baldroy and Mey-Rin. His speed overwhelms Baldroy, and while he is impressed with Mey-Rin's double guns, his superior fighting skills allow him to slice the guns with relative ease; he proclaims that he wins at close combat. He stomps on Mey-Rin, and agilely dodges Baldroy's attack from behind. He is about to stab Baldroy, but Sebastian stops the fight by compelling Grey to pierce through the dessert he is carrying instead. He urges Grey to taste it, and the latter blithely complies. Grey and Phipps, then, formally introduce themselves as Queen Victoria's private secretarial officers and butlers, and reveal that they have a message from the Queen for Ciel.
Sitting down with Ciel, they explain that the Queen would like Ciel to host a banquet and to entertain a guest in two weeks time. Ciel is initially doubtful, but Grey points out that the Queen is not pleased with Ciel's report on the Noah's Ark Circus mission, which prompts Ciel to agree in order to redeem himself. Grey requests to participate as well, as he is the overseeing officer, and Ciel gives his permission. After declaring that they have confirmed the safety of the manor, they take their leave. On the way out, they encounter Finnian. With exceptional speed, Phipps fixes Finnian's hat, to both Finnian's and Grey's surprise.
Two weeks later, Grey attends the banquet with Georg, the guest of honor, whom he has escorted. He and the other guests exchange greetings and commence introductions; Karl Woodley praises Grey, who is also an earl of a distinguished family that has its name attached to a flavor of tea. After introductions, they toast in celebration. Grey drinks plenty of wine with the other guests. Secretly, Grey encourages an intoxicated Georg to fake his death in order to "surprise everyone," and gives him an ampule containing a substance called Tetrodotoxin, which is able to put him in a state of apparent death, as seen in Romeo and Juliet. Georg is subsequently brought to his room where he proceeds to do as such.
In the midst of the festivities, Grey and the other guests hear a loud scream from Georg. They rush to his bedroom; inside, they discover Georg's body.
After they move Georg to the cellar, Lau calls attention to the fact that they cannot leave the manor because of the storm. They contemplate about the details of the murder, and Grey concludes that the killer must be one of them, which Karl and Grimsby Keane react negatively to. Lau suggests that Georg's death is a locked room murder. They further discuss the locked room scenario, and each guest is obliged to state his or her alibi. Grimsby claims that he and Irene Diaz were in the Billiard room at the time of Georg's murder, and Grey states that he was in there as well. They eventually narrow down the prime suspect to Ciel, and Grey says that he wants insurance that they will make it out alive. Lau proposes confining Ciel, and Grey mentions that he cannot be imprisoned in his own bedroom in case there is a secret escape route built in there. Lau adds that none of the Phantomhive servants are allowed to maintain a vigil over Ciel as they might help him escape; Grey agrees, saying that one of the guests must watch over him instead. They, then, select Arthur Conan Doyle to do as such. Grey tells the servants to fetch shackles from his horse carriage in order to bind Ciel with Arthur. Afterward, Grey and the other guests are escorted to their respective rooms.
That night, Sebastian surveys the fireplace in Georg's room and reassembles the broken ampule. Grey sneaks up behind him, hits the back of his head, and then stabs his torso. Disgruntled, he complains about getting found out so quickly because of the "lousy servant" Sebastian getting in his way, and tosses the pieces of the ampule out the window. He adds that his plan is ruined, and says that having to go down the cellar alone to find Georg is the worst.
When Grey reaches the wine cellar, Georg greets him with delight; he remarks that it seems their prank has worked well and asks if everyone was shocked. He begins to talk about the wine he discovered upon his waking. However, Grey suddenly and ruthlessly stabs and kills Georg, proclaiming that the very sight of him is "frightfully offensive" and that it is "ten years too soon" for "dim-witted Germany" to catch up to Great Britain. He covers Georg's body, and departs from the cellar.
The next morning, Grey and the other guests discover the brutal murder of Sebastian Michaelis. However, he is baffled to see that Sebastian has been pierced through the front even though he has undeniably stabbed him from behind. He then proposes that they move Sebastian's body to the cellar for the meanwhile and pursue the topic at breakfast, and Lau agrees; Karl comments that they are being a bit too easygoing about the entire affair.
At the dining table, Grey offers to eat the leftovers, and when Irene is about to hand her plate to him, he clarifies that he wants the plate next to her. They, then, collectively realize that it belongs to the mysteriously absent Patrick Phelps. They opt to check on Patrick, who was assigned to Ciel's bedroom. When they find that the door is locked, Grey swiftly cuts it down, alarming the others but garnering Lau's applause. They hurry inside, and discover Patrick's corpse.
Soon after, they have dessert at the drawing room, where they discuss about the three murders. Ultimately, the group allow for Arthur to dictate their actions from that time on, as through deductive reasoning, he is the only one who could not have committed any of the crimes.
They decide to investigate Sebastian's body, and Grey accompanies Arthur, Ciel, Baldroy, and Finnian to the cellar; unnerved at the prospect of ghosts, Grey holds onto Ciel's arm but refuses to admit to his fear. After searching Sebastian's body, they conclude that he is not in possession of the key to Ciel's room. They then inspect Sebastian's room, and Grey proclaims that he does not seem to have any personal belongings; he questions Sebastian's origin, but neither Baldroy, Finnian, nor Ciel knows.
In due course, everyone's belongings are examined, and they gather in the drawing room once again. Soon after Lau suggests the existence of a "thirteenth person," Jeremy Rathbone appears. Following the verification that Jeremy is not involved in the string of murders, Jeremy is allowed to lead the investigation. The three corpses are placed in separate rooms, and Jeremy asks them to show him the corpses the order that they were killed. Grey requests to go along with Jeremy, Arthur, and Ciel. While scrutinizing Georg's corpse, Jeremy identifies that his only external trauma is the wound on his chest caused by a single stab with a sharp-edged blade. He deduces that Georg was a violent drinker, and explains to Grey that his expensive pocket watch has numerous scratches, hence indicating Georg's crude, drunk nature. He, also, perceives a strong scent of alcohol and a faint smell of the sea; though Grey remains silent, the latter remark particularly strikes him.
Next, Jeremy goes to Patrick Phelps, and assesses his peculiar neck wound. They begin to head to Ciel's room, where Patrick was murdered; however, Jeremy lags behind, presumably due to his advanced age, which snags Grey's then Ciel's attention. Jeremy apologizes, and they enter Ciel's room where Jeremy conducts his examination. He soon affirms that there are, indeed, more than one murderer involved, and adds that it will be more difficult to catch Patrick's murderer than Georg's. He discloses that in order to catch Patrick's murderer, they must wait until nightfall and rely on Ciel's cooperation.
Afterward, Jeremy studies Sebastian's corpse. While he is busy doing so, Grey gets distracted by Ciel's abrupt display of frailty; Ciel claims that seeing Sebastian's corpse again has weakened him, and Grey is bemused and unsympathetic, commenting that Ciel was not disturbed in the slightest when he stripped Sebastian's corpse a while ago. Jeremy then declares that Sebastian was killed rather simply, and confirms that he is finished investigating. In response, Grey announces that he will be heading back to the others; as he walks off, he overhears that Jeremy must look over some preparations for that night. This impels Grey to rush back to Sebastian's corpse. He lifts the cloth covering the body, and after ascertaining that it is Sebastian and kicking him once on the face, he returns to the others, reassured that it is not remotely possible for Sebastian to still be alive.
For dinner, the group eats a scrumptious steak meat the Phantomhive servants have prepared, and Grey, having eaten an abundance, expresses his satisfaction with the meal. Lau presses for the truth behind the incidents, but Jeremy advises them to not be hasty. He, then, asks for Ciel to remove his clothes, much to the Ciel's dismay.
Grey, Jeremy, and Arthur sit together, while a bare Ciel is constrained to keep quiet and stay still and patient, as instructed by Jeremy, who is positive that the Patrick's killer will emerge if Ciel does as told. Jeremy times Patrick's killer's movements carefully, and at the precise moment, launches their counterattack. Ran-Mao, dressed in Ciel's clothing to attract the killer with his scent, lunges from her hidden position, and Grey is about to stab Patrick's killer, but Jeremy stops him, saying that the killer is an important witness.
Subsequently, they enter Karl's room, where the rest of the group have accumulated at. Grey reports that they have brought the killer along. Jeremy unveils Patrick's killer: a Black Mamba snake from Africa, trained to attack when it detects Ciel's scent—this shifts the attention to Karl specializes in African trade. When Karl argues that he has an alibi, Jeremy remarks that an alibi may not be worth much; as inferred by Jeremy, Georg was in cahoots with someone and had initially faked his death with a substance called Tetrodotoxin—if refined, he elaborates, one can achieve a state of apparent death like the character Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. He adds on that the faint scent of sea he distinguished earlier was, in fact, Tetrodotoxin, also a poison puffer fish and octopuses carry. Jeremy, then, continues delving into details: Georg, at first, was encouraged by another individual to feign his death and tossed the ampule of poison in the fire, but he was actually killed later by the said individual; the murderer, then, attempted to destroy the evidence; however, Sebastian was already collecting the ashes by the fire, and so he murdered the butler as well, recovered the evidence, and returned to his room. Grey demands for the ampule of poison as proof, and Ciel suggests that it may be found in Karl's hearth. Grimsby searches the hearth and finds glass shards, which Jeremy reassembles into the ampule.
Karl frantically denies all accusations, among which is Ciel's assertion that Karl's motive to eliminate Ciel is to protect his diamond industry. An exasperated Grey threatens Karl and orders him to be quiet; he states that he will listen to Karl's excuses in prison. Ciel, then, hands Grey his shackles, and tells him to put it in good use. Grey arrests Karl and takes him away. The following morning, Grey has a handcuffed Karl placed in a horse carriage, as they prepare to set off.
Luxury Liner Arc
Charles Phipps and John Brown have disguised themselves as the Scotland Yard members that were supposed to bring Karl Woodley to jail. Grey eventually kills a greatly distressed Karl along the way, for panicking and talking too much. After Grey does as such, he complains about not being able to defeat Ciel, and Phipps says that that is because he acts without considering the consequences. Grey tells him to cease his lectures, and wonders aloud about what the Queen is plotting. In response, Phipps states that mere butlers like them do not need to know and that all that matters is for things to go according to the Queen's wishes.
Grey says that he has overheard that Ciel must be the first to acquire Elizabeth Midford's Easter egg, and mischievously decides to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. When Grey comments that there are no other rules besides being the first to obtain Elizabeth's egg, Sebastian Michaelis speaks up. Grey proclaims that he has heard rumors that Sebastian is still alive, and asks for what "the butler who cheated death" has to say. Sebastian, then, adds some egg tapping-inspired rules: everyone will be divided into teams of two; a partner will carry a raw egg in a ladle during the Egg Hunt; one can freely exchange the egg through the use of ladles; a team is disqualified if, for whatever reason, the raw egg breaks. They are then arranged into teams, and Grey is partnered with Phipps.
Sebastian reminds the players that they are not allowed to aim for anything other than their opponent's raw egg, and the first to find Elizabeth's egg and bring it to her wins. Subsequently, the game initiates.
Grey and Phipps encounter the team of Finnian and Snake outside. Snake's snake, Wilde, detects Grey, who has concealed himself behind a wall. Snake calls forth a multitude of snakes to surround Grey, which terrifies and revolts him. From the roof, Phipps plays a snake-manipulating flute, leaps to the ground, and declares that a "first-rate butler" should be able to do as such. The flute effectively disorients Snake, who collapses on the ground, and his raw egg is broken beside him; Grey and Phipps have successfully eliminated Team Finnian and Snake.
While Ciel is attempting to reach Elizabeth's egg, which is perched on a chandelier, Grey attacks him, but is warded off by Sebastian. Grey and Sebastian fight with their ladles, and the former questions how Sebastian has managed to survive, stating that he was certain he has killed him before, but the latter brushes off the interrogation. Phipps lunges at Sebastian from behind with his flute, and Sebastian dodges. Grey demands if a "mere servant" like Sebastian dares to break their egg, and thus, Sebastian restrains from doing so. Grey and Phipps continue to battle with Sebastian; Grey admits that he simply hates losing, regardless if it is a game or not, and adds that he enjoys toying with an opponent who "cannot resist." Grey nearly breaks Ciel and Sebastian's raw egg, but suddenly, his and Phipps's raw egg cracks open and a baby chick emerges, astounding Grey.
Sebastian reiterates the rule that no matter the reason, if one's egg breaks, he is disqualified. Phipps states that they have lost, much to Grey's disbelief. Phipps looks on affectionately at the baby chick, while Grey is dismayed. After the hunt, Grey and Phipps join the rest of the participants for a snack outdoors. Grey, at last, delivers Queen Victoria's "love letter" to Ciel.
Public School Arc
Later at Buckingham Palace, Ciel Phantomhive personally reports to Queen Victoria about the events that occurred in Weston College; Grey stands on the side along with Phipps, while Ciel mentions the idea of reviving the dead.
Emerald Witch Arc
Grey and Charles Phipps deliver their completed analysis of plant specimens from the Werewolves' Forest sent by Ciel Phantomhive, to Queen Victoria. Soon after, Grey voices his suspicion with the inconceivably fast delivery of the package to Phipps, who argues that Ciel must have many connections underground to accelerate the process.
Blue Cult Arc
Outside Buckingham Palace, Grey and Charles Phipps greet Sieglinde Sullivan, who is scheduled to meet with Queen Victoria that day. They tell Sieglinde, who is accompanied by Wolfram Gelzer, Ciel Phantomhive, and Sebastian Michaelis, to follow them into the palace. Grey notices that, instead of following them, Sebastian is standing by the carriage, and asks him if he is coming. Sebastian replies that he has an errand to run for Ciel so he cannot, and Grey, though slightly suspicious, does not push the issue. Subsequently, Grey and Phipps lead the group up the stairs and down a hallway; they open the double doors to a room where Queen Victoria and John Brown are, and wait in the hallway while Sieglinde has her special audience with the Queen.
When news about the mysterious Sphere Music Hall reaches Queen Victoria, she sends two men to attend the music hall's parties in order to investigate. When questioned by Grey and Phipps, the pair confess that they have found nothing amiss regarding the music hall; however, even after their investigation is over, they do not stop attending the parties.
Sometime later, at Buckingham Palace, Grey is present, along with Phipps and Sebastian, as Ciel delivers his interim report regarding the Sphere Music Hall to Queen Victoria. The Queen says that anything can happen, with people assembling at the music hall, for there is strength in numbers, and asks for Grey's agreement. Grey is, thus, prompted to show Ciel rosters of members of the House of Lords, Scotland Yard, and the military; those marked in the rosters are addicted to the music hall gatherings.
Occasionally, Queen Victoria would make personal visits to Sieglinde, and Grey and Phipps would accompany her.
- (To Georg von Siemens) "The very sight of you is frightfully offensive. Dim-witted Germany will catch up to Great Britain, you say? It's ten years too soon for that."
- (Referring to Ciel Phantomhive) "Ugh, it really riles me up! I was so looking forward to knocking that little brat down a peg."
- Charles Grey uses his left hand when he wields his sword, so he may be left-handed.
Out of Universe
- According to the official Kuroshitsuji character popularity poll, Grey is the sixth most popular character in the series, with 348 votes. He is ranked among the "Devil Six."
- Charles Grey may be based on Sir Charles Grey, who was a private secretary for Prince Albert. When Prince Albert died in 1861, he became Queen Victoria's private secretary until his death in 1870.
- Before his and Charles Phipps's initial appearance, Charles Grey was mentioned in Queen Victoria's letter to Ciel Phantomhive. In the said letter, Phipps made Christmas pudding with the Queen, while Grey and John Brown praised it.