|“||Come on, baby, I will help you. Shh... Ali, it's okay.||”|
— Charles to Alison
Charles DiLaurentis (born Charles Drake) is the persona of Charlotte DiLaurentis before she transitioned.
Mary Drake was pregnant and had given birth to Charles while she was a patient at Radley Sanitarium. Directly after his birth, Jessica DiLaurentis, Mary's twin sister, and Kenneth DiLaurentis adopted him as their own son.
Charles is the cousin of Alison DiLaurentis (formerly known as the younger sister) and Jason DiLaurentis (formerly known as a half-brother). As a child, Charles was admitted to Radley Sanitarium, due to what Kenneth DiLaurentis, his uncle, and adoptive father, described as behavioral episodes. Charles was confirmed to be the Big A who stole the game from Mona.
Although Charles was assumed alive, it was revealed in "Don't Look Now", that he had "killed" himself at the age of 16 through pill overdose. However, his Radley file suggested he donated his organs, but Mona suggests that his organs would have been unsuitable for donation based on his medication list.
In the following episode, "No Stone Unturned", it was revealed by Mona (through the information she got from Lesli) that he escaped "that night" with Bethany Young, meaning that he was alive after he turned 16. He was revealed to be a transgender woman, CeCe Drake/Charlotte DiLaurentis in "Game Over, Charles" as well as being blamed for the murder of Marion Cavanaugh by Bethany Young.
Charles is fifteen months older than Jason. As a child, he worried his adoptive parents, Kenneth and Jessica, as he suffered from many behavioral episodes which were assumed have been violent and/or psychopathic. It is revealed that these "episodes" were the early formation of Charles' realizing his identity (transgender girl), something Kenneth was uncomfortable with. Charles was admitted to Radley when Alison was eleven months old. He tried to comfort a crying Ali by giving her a bath, but the young Charles mistakenly placed her in a bathtub full of scalding hot water, which was too full for the child. Kenneth misinterpreted this as Charles attempting to drown her and decided it was time for Charles to be admitted to a mental institution.
As a child, Jason was convinced he had an imaginary friend named "Charlie". When Jason asked his father where Charlie was, his father told him Charlie had to "go away for a while". It was later revealed that "Charlie" was actually Charles, and was a real person. Jason resents his father for lying to him about Charlie's existence.
Charles is now Charlotte DiLaurentis/CeCe Drake, which he started going by after his falsified death.
Jason and Alison receive a video from Big A of their younger selves celebrating a birthday for Charles whom they thought was a random cousin named Freddie. The boy asks Jessica when he has to go back, and she tells him not for a long while and to just have fun.
It's revealed that Charles DiLaurentis is, in fact, Charlotte DiLaurentis, alias CeCe Drake, and he trasitioned at the age of 16.
When he was little, Charles tried to stop Alison from crying as he thought a way of helping her would be a bath. The event almost led baby Alison to drowning, fact that infuariated his adoptive father. They decided Charles is a danger for their children, so they sent him to Radley Sanitarium. Jessica visited him as often as she could, but Kenneth had never visited him.
There, he befriended Bethany Young. When Charles was 12, Bethany pushed Marion Cavanaugh from the Radley's roof and blamed Charles for it. Jessica had to pay Wilden in order that the death will be ruled as a suicide.
Season 5 (1/25)
Season 6 (3/20)
Jessica: I love you, Charlie. And I always will.
Charles: I love you more, mommy.
Charles [to Bethany]: My mom always says that nothing's more believable than a really good lie.
Charles [to Bethany]: We just need to come up with a great story. Something fabulous and devastating at the time.
Charles: Does it look like I could survive in the woods?
Bethany: You're too pretty for that.