Charles Phipps (チャールズ・フィップス, Chaaruzu Fipusu) is code-named "Double Charles" (along with his counterpart Charles Grey), and a member of Queen Victoria's Private Secretarial Officers, as well as her butler.
Anime | Manga
Phipps is a tall man with silver ear-length shaggy hair and a mole on the left side of his chin.
As a member of Queen Victoria's service, Phipps attires himself in a similar suit to Charles Grey and John Brown, with some modifications to suit his own style. He dresses in a double-breasted jacket with all buttons done up. Underneath is a black tie, and over it, he has three lines of black rope, two of which are wrapped around his torso, while the third one loops over and under his right shoulder. Over his left breast, he wears a pin that consists of a bow, with a profile view of the Queen hanging below it on a short chain, identical to Grey's. He sports two belts, with one slung lower on his hips than the other. He also carries a sword at his left hip; the sword has a black blade and a slightly ornate hand-guard.
Phipps is a reserved and apathetic individual. Of the two Charles, Phipps is the more serious one, often responding solemnly to statements the other makes and approaching situations with a significantly calmer demeanor. While Charles Grey tends to be inquisitive and skeptical about certain situations, Phipps, on the other hand, favors comprehensively executing the tasks dictated by Queen Victoria as instructed, without going astray or unduly interfering with matters that are not of his concern. He views seemingly odd circumstances in an objective, pragmatic light, and attempts to reason with Grey; such as when Grey held doubts about Ciel and Sebastian's unbelievable speed in delivering a package, Phipps simply assumed that Ciel must have utilized his numerous connections in the underground society.
In another stark contrast to Grey, Phipps is not as inclined to fighting as the other is; on one occasion, he merely watched as Grey took on Baldroy and Mey-Rin alone, and helped Mey-Rin up after Grey knocked her down. Nevertheless, Phipps is extremely skilled and is capable of moving at high speeds. He, as well, demonstrates diligence in keeping things clean and orderly; on one occasion, he had sewn a flower onto Finnian's hat in order to patch it, something Grey deemed peculiar — Phipps had merely insisted that he can do such work because he is a "top-class butler." He later made the same comment regarding his ability to play a snake-charming flute. Furthermore, Phipps has an exceptional aptitude for art, and likes to cook and paint. He also has a soft side for cute things.
At a fencing match, a young Phipps and Charles Grey 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, Phipps, Charles Grey, 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
Phipps arrives with Charles Grey 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 Grey attacks Mey-Rin and Baldroy, Phipps watches calmly and does not intervene. When Sebastian stops the fight, Phipps helps Mey-Rin up. He and Grey, then, formally introduce themselves as Queen Victoria's private secretarial officers and butlers, and reveal that they have a message from the Queen to Ciel Phantomhive.
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. Initially, Ciel is 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. 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.
Luxury Liner Arc
Phipps and John Brown have disguised themselves as the Scotland Yard members that were supposed to bring Karl Woodley to jail. Charles Grey eventually kills Karl along the way. 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.
On Easter Day, Grey swings on a rope and bursts through a window of the Phantomhive Manor, with Phipps arriving shortly after and announcing that they have a delivery from the Queen. Phipps has brought a basket of eggs he meticulously painted, which impresses Elizabeth Midford.
Grey decides to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt—the objective of which is to be the first to obtain a particular egg of Elizabeth's. Sebastian Michaelis 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 Phipps is partnered with Grey.
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 Phipps lunges at Sebastian from behind with his flute, but the latter manages to dodge in time. 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 nearly breaks Ciel and Sebastian's raw egg, but suddenly, his and Phipps's raw egg cracks open and a baby chick emerges.
Sebastian reiterates the rule that no matter the reason, if one's egg breaks, he is disqualified, and Phipps states that they have lost. Phipps looks on affectionately at the baby chick, while Grey is dismayed. After the hunt, Phipps and Grey join the rest of the participants for a snack outdoors. Grey, at last, delivers Queen Victoria's 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; Phipps stands on the side along with Grey, while Ciel mentions the idea of reviving the dead.
Emerald Witch Arc
Phipps and Charles Grey deliver their completed analysis of the 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
Phipps prepares cakes for Queen Victoria and her guests to enjoy when they arrive. Sometime later, outside Buckingham Palace, Phipps and Charles Grey greet Sieglinde, 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; Sebastian does not follow them, however, claiming that he has an errand to run for Ciel. Subsequently, Phipps and Grey 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.
After the meeting, Phipps has Victoria ask Ciel which cake of the cakes she sent home he likes most, which she later does via a letter to Ciel. 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 Phipps and Grey, 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, Buckingham Palace, Phipps is present, along with Grey and Sebastian, as Ciel delivers his interim report regarding the Sphere Music Hall to Queen Victoria.
Occasionally, Queen Victoria would make personal visits to Sieglinde, and Phipps and Grey would accompany her.
- "A first-class butler is able to deal with any emergency."
- "All is as Her Majesty the Queen wishes it to be."
- Phipps has kept the baby chick that hatched during the Easter Egg hunt; it is now a full-grown chicken and is always seen perched on either his shoulder or head.
Out of Universe
- According to the official Kuroshitsuji character popularity poll, Phipps is the twenty-fifth most popular character in the series, with 45 votes. He shares this spot with Diedrich, who also received 45 votes.
- Charles Phipps may be based on Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps, who assisted Sir Charles Grey as a private secretary to Queen Victoria.
- Before his and Charles Grey's initial appearance, Charles Phipps 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.
- In the credits of Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder's first part, his name is misspelled as "Phips."