The station was formerly also served by the Jubilee line between 1979 and 1999; acting as the southern terminus of the line during that period.
For most of the history of the Underground the name Charing Cross was associated not with this station but with the station now known as Embankment. See below for the complex history of the name.
The Northern line platforms were opened as Charing Cross by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR, now the Northern line) on 22 June 1907. At its opening this station was the southern terminus of the CCE&HR which ran to two northern termini at Golders Green and Highgate (now Archway) tube stations.
Although both lines were owned and operated by the Underground Electric Railways Company (UERL), there was no direct connection below ground and passengers interchanging between the lines had to do so via two sets of lifts and the surface.
In an effort to improve interchange capabilities, the CCE&HR was extended the short distance south under Charing Cross main line station to connect with the BS&WR and the District Railway (another UERL line), opening as such on 6 April 1914. The interchange station between the BS&WR and District had been know hitherto as Charing Cross (District) and Embankment (BS&WR). The original CCE&HR terminus to the north of Charing Cross main line station was renamed Charing Cross (Strand) and the new station and the BS&WR station to the south of the main line station was named Charing Cross (Embankment). These names lasted only a short time: on 9 May 1915, Charing Cross (Strand) was renamed Strand and for Charing Cross (Embankment) the tube lines adopted the District Railway name of Charing Cross. At the same time, the separate Strand station on the Piccadilly line was also renamed Aldwych to avoid confusion.
The Northern line Strand station was closed on 4 June 1973 to enable the construction of the new Jubilee line platforms. These platforms were constructed between the Bakerloo line and Northern line platforms together with the long missing below ground interchange between those two lines. In anticipation of the new interchange station, from 4 August 1974 Charing Cross was renamed Charing Cross Embankment. The Jubilee line platforms and the refurbished Northern Line platforms opened on 1 May 1979 from which date the combined station including Trafalgar Square was given its current name; simultaneously Charing Cross Embankment reverted to the original BS&WR name of Embankment, ending 109 years of association with the name Charing Cross.
Although Charing Cross was constructed as the southern terminus of the Jubilee line, plans already existed to continue the line to the east towards Lewisham in south-east London. The tunnels were, therefore constructed beyond the station beneath Strand as far as 143 Strand, almost as far as Aldwych station which would have been the next stop on the line. The subsequent regeneration of the Docklands in London's East End during the 1980s and 1990s required additional transport infrastructure and the eventual route of the extension took the new tunnels south from Green Park to provide new interchanges at Westminster, Waterloo and London Bridge stations and then on to Greenwich and Stratford.
The new tunnels branch away from the original south of Green Park station and, on the opening of the final section of the line between Green Park and Waterloo stations on 20 November 1999, the Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross were closed to the travelling public. The escalators continuing down to the closed platforms can, however, still be seen through closed doors at the bottom of the escalators from the ticket hall.
A 100 metre-long mural along the Northern line platforms was designed by David Gentleman. It shows scenes from the funeral journey of Eleanor of Castile (the wife of Edward I) from Nottinghamshire to her tomb in Westminster Abbey (see Eleanor cross).
In 2006, it was proposed that an extension to the Docklands Light Railway from Bank station would take over the platforms. Intermediate stations at Aldwych tube station and City Thameslink would be opened, mirroring the planned route of the old Fleet Line.