Charles Edward Madden was the son of Admiral Sir Charles Madden, 1st Bart. and Constance, daughter of Sir Charles Cayzer. Born on 15th June, 1906 he followed his father into the Royal Navy, being first educated at the Royal Naval College, Osborne and graduating, in 1920, from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He served initially on board the Iron Duke, the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet, and went on to have an illustrious career, particularly in the Second World War, when he was mentioned in dispatches on more than one occasion.
After the war, as Captain Madden, he served two First Sea Lords. Promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1955, he played a significant and often diplomatic role in Malta as Flag Officer at the naval base there. In 1961 he became a Vice-Admiral and in 1963 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet when he assumed his father’s rank of Admiral. In his retirement he held leading positions in many public and charitable bodies, including the National Maritime Museum, and continued his life-long interest in painting. His wife, Olive, whom he married in 1942, pre-deceased him in 1989.