Charles, Prince of Wales, is reportedly descended from the 15th-century Romanian tyrant, Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Dracula), believed to have inspired Bram Stoker’s horror novel, Dracula, published in 1897.
According to the website Romania Tour Store, David’s Hughes book, The British Chronicles, includes a genealogical tree that shows that Charles is “the great-grandson 16 times removed” of Vlad the Impaler through Queen Mary, George V’s consort.
Charles has publicly acknowledged his reported blood ties with the Transylvanian ruler.
“Transylvania is in my blood. The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country,” Charles joked during a 2011 TV interview, according to Express.
The Prince of Wales reportedly first became aware of his blood ties to Vlad the Impaler while visiting Transylvania in 1998.
He has since visited Transylvania on multiple occasions. He owns several properties in the region. He is also involved in charity work in Transylvania through his Prince of Wales Foundation.
Charles and Margareta of Romania are cousins
Prince Charles and Margareta, the Custodian of the Crown of Romania, are fourth cousins.
Margareta of Romania is the daughter of King Michael I and Queen Anne of Romania. She became Custodian of the Crown in 2017 after her father died.
King Michael 1 was the last king of Romania. He was forced to abdicate the throne in 1947. Although Romania’s monarchy had been abolished, Michael designated his daughter, Margareta, as heir presumptive to his defunct throne before he died.
The designation is not officially recognized by the Romanian government and lacks constitutional validity.
Margareta visited the U.K. and spent summer vacations with her cousins — Prince Charles and Princess Anne — when she was a child. She attended the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1974.
Charles visited the Romanian Royal Family in Bucharest in 2017.
Who was Vlad the Impaler?
Vlad was the voivode or ruler of Wallachia — a region of modern-day Romania — in the mid-1400s. He had acquired a reputation for extreme cruelty and brutality before his death in 1477. Stories of his acts of cruelty were the subject of popular literature dating back to the late 1400s.
Vlad was portrayed in the accounts of his army’s atrocities as a “demented psychopath, a sadist, a gruesome murderer, a masochist.”
An account of Vlad’s military campaign against Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II by the Byzantine Greek historian Laonikos Chalkokondyles includes shocking stories of his gruesome acts, including horrific massacres of civilians.
Even the Ottomans, who were known for their cruelty, were shocked when, in June 1462, they entered the Romanian city of Targoviste — after Vlad’s men had abandoned it — to find twenty thousand men, women, and children impaled on stakes. The victims reportedly included infants and their mothers impaled together.
While it is known that Vlad must have been a fearsome ruler who committed shocking atrocities, scholars believe that some of the circulating accounts originated from enemies who exaggerated his acts.