The Associated Press reports Prince Charles says he’s related to another famous prince, Vlad the Impaler, progenitor of vampire legend. Why is the prince so eager to be linked to one of history’s bloodiest figures? Because he’s an environmentalist.
Prince Charles spends a considerable amount of time and money touring the planet promoting various green causes, and by saying he’s related to the hero of Transylvania, he can say he has a vested interest in preserving the forests of Romania.
Charles’ interest in Transylvania, the mountainous interior region of Romania, is not new. Weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, I was in Transylvania and the tiny town of Sighisoara, one of the best-preserved Medieval cities in all of Europe, was still abuzz about a visit by Charles, who’d visited to vocally oppose the creation of Dracula Land, a vampire-themed amusement park planned for the outskirts of Vlad’s hometown.
Prince Charles was able to help put a stop to the project.
Vlad, unbeknownst to many, is the founding father of modern Romania. He’s a hero there for battling invading Turks and preventing eastern Europe from falling under non-Christian rule. Calling him a vampire is a good way to get punched in Romania. Still the name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad’s patronymic, Dragwlya or Dragkwlya is a diminutive of the epithet Dracul “the Dragon” carried by his father Vlad II.
Impalement was Vlad’s preferred method of torture and execution, of enemies. It was reported that an invading Ottoman army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube.
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