Charlotte of Luxembourg was born on 23 January 1896 in Colmar-Berg. She was the second daughter of William IV of Luxembourg and his wife Maria Ana de Bragança. Charlotte of Luxembourg acceded to the throne on 15 January 1919, after the Allied forces and the anti-dynastic movement had abdicated her sister, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde. A few months later, a double referendum was held on the economic orientation of the country and on the future political regime of Luxembourg. A large majority voted in favour of the dynasty under Grand Duchess Charlotte. Over the years, the Grand Duchess managed to gain acceptance as a symbol of national cohesion.
On 6 November 1919, she married Felix of Bourbon-Parma. Six children were born of this marriage.
When the German troops invaded in 1940, Grand Duchess Charlotte went into exile, accompanied by her family and the government. From France, she travelled to Spain and then to Portugal, before returning to Great Britain, the United States and Canada. It was in London that the Grand Duchess sided with the Allies and that the official seat of the Luxembourg government was established. She regularly addressed her compatriots on the BBC. Very popular, she became the symbol of the country's resistance against the German aggressor. She returned to Luxembourg on 14 April 1945 and undertook a grand tour of the regions devastated by the war. The Grand Duchess patronised the reconstruction work and witnessed the economic revival.
On 12 November 1964, Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated in favour of her eldest son, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. The Grand Duchess made her last public appearance on 15 May 1985 during a visit by Pope John Paul II to the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg. She died in July 1985, and her mortal remains lie in the crypt of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Luxembourg.
On 29 April 1990, the Grand Duchess Charlotte monument was inaugurated on the Place Clairefontaine in Luxembourg City.