He is the son of William I Longue Épée (Long Sword), the second Duke of Normandy. After a difficult infancy during which he is exiled and placed under supervision he manages to regain the title of duke with full rights in 947. He can therefore devote himself to the consolidation and stabilisation of the duchy, which is gaining ground and distinguishing itself from the other neighbouring provinces, these also growing in stature. He furthers the interests of the Church, rebuilds the religious buildings destroyed by the Vikings and installs communities of monks. It is in the XII century that Robert de Torigni, chronicler of Normandy, based on ancient writings, refers to the towers and walls built in Falaise by Richard in 960. This would be for the town and for the Château the very first proven mention of fortifications.