Promotional video and brochures have been released by the Romanian National Tourist Office claiming there is a link between British Royalty and Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Tepes, a fifteenth century nobleman who due to his deeds gained legendry notoriety as Count Dracula. Romania, in the belief that this will promote tourism to the country, especially Transylvania, is exploiting the various reported links that have been established between the British Royal Family and Count Dracula.
The legendry Count Dracula originated from a novel by Bram Stoker whom he based on Vlad Tepes or “The Impaler”, ruler of the Kingdom of Wallachia. The author described Vlad the Impaler as someone who would transform into a Vampire bat in the hours of darkness and drink the blood of his victims.
Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) was renowned for his gory campaigns against not only his enemies, the Ottomans, but also towards his own people. His victims were estimated to be in the region of many thousands, which apparently inspired Bram Stoker to write his famous novel.
A commentary by Prince Charles in the promotional video refers to his ancestry in relation to Romania and its murky past, and the kinship between himself and Vlad Tepes. He also produced some dry British humour by connecting his genealogy, his family’s kingdom and Vlad the Impaler, with the statement that he does have a “bit of a stake in the country”.
In a book by Sir Iain Moncreiffe published in 1982, Prince Charles is referred to as a sixteen times removed, great grandson of Vlad Tepes. A further belief is that Mary, the Queen Consort of George V who is the great grandfather of Prince Charles, was a relation of Vlad Tepes. One historic fact is that Marie, a cousin of George V, married the Romanian Crown Prince and following the end of the 1914-1918 Great War, ruled that European country.
The video and brochures were launched at the World Travel Market in London, and it has been indicated that the apparent fondness portrayed by the British Royal Family for Romania could be a positive influence in promoting the country.