Prince Charles has a fistful of royal titles, starting with Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, but until now, heir to Vlad the Impaler, better known as the inspiration for Dracula, has not been one of them.
So merriment was felt all around Thursday when news emerged that Charles has been offered the title Prince of Transylvania by a mayor in Romania — a country close to Charles' heart.
After all, Charles himself has boasted that he shares a bloodline with legendarily cruel 15th-century prince Vlad the Impaler, the psychopathic despot whose reputation for impaling enemies on pikes gave rise to the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.
Mihai Coser, a spokesman for Mircea Hava, the mayor of the Transylvanian city of Alba Iulia, told the Associated Press that Charles has been offered the honorific title because of his promotion of Transylvania as a tourist destination and because he is "more Romanian than many Romanians."
In a letter to Charles, the mayor said Transylvania has become Charles' second home, and he has become the region’s most valuable ambassador.
"Moreover, you claim your roots from our legendary Prince Vlad," the letter read, according to The Romania Journal. "As you love Transylvania so much, we thought, ‘What if instead of only being ‘The Prince of Wales,’ you would be known from now on as ‘The Prince of Wales AND Transylvania’?”
So far, there has been no response to the offer from Charles' office at Clarence House. Don't hold your breath, Mr. Mayor.
The Prince of Wales, 68, who has said that Transylvania is in his blood, also owns two 400-year-old rustic retreats in Romania and visits the country often, most recently in March in a three-day visit during a royal "charm tour" to help allay European worries about Brexit, the British divorce from the European Union.
Charles discovered his link to Vlad, a ruler who was said to have covered a hill with so many impaled men it looked like a forest, after he made his first trip to Romania in 1998 and has since waxed poetic about Romania's charms and countryside. He is believed to be related to Vlad through his great-grandmother, Queen Mary, wife of George V, who was born a German princess.
But he doesn't need another title. Besides Prince of Wales, he is also Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
Romania abolished its monarchy when the communists came to power after World War II, and King Michael was forced to abdicate and sent into exile in 1947. Both Charles and Michael are descendants of Britain's Queen Victoria.
“The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country,” Charles joked in a documentary on the Carpathian Mountains.
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