" Transylvania is in my blood. I have family connections here and that's why I am very interested in this region - that's what Prince Charles of Great Britain said during one of his visits to Romania (according hellomagazine.com). Some people try to find a connection between Vlad The Impeller , known as Dracula, and one of Prince Charles' ancestors in order to explain the vivid interest of HRH in Romania, especially in Transylvania. The Prince not only visited constantly Romania for the last 20 years, but also bought 2 proprieties there, in the 12th century Saxon village, Viscri, a UNESCO World heritage site. He is also involved in some projects, being the patron of the Mihai Eminescu Trust and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism. "They work to restore the cultural heritage, economy and nature of Transylvania's Saxon villages and their surroundings. In addition to restoring some 180 medieval houses and several churches, the charity has supported traditional rural technologies, such as the construction of wood-fired kilns for handmade bricks and tiles and organic farming" as daylimail.co.uk explained.
The truth is Prince Charles believes that Romania's villages are among the country's most valuable assets, HRH being a well known ecologist sympathiser and even he uses to work in his own organic garden. He likes the simplicity and the naturalness of life in these villages, where people live off the land, growing food, knitting clothes and weaving carpets. He also eats with great pleasure Romanian traditional food.
And to reveal the real connection of Prince Charles with Romania, nobody should fabricate strange legends or stories, but just search in historical facts - Marie of Edinburgh who was Queen of Romania ( and spouse of king Ferdinand of Romania) was born on 29 October 1875 at Eastwell Park in Kent as the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia. Her father was the second eldest son of Queen Victoria of England and Prince Albert of Saxa -Coburg-Gotha. She married Prince Ferdinand of Romania on 10 January 1893 and became a queen in 1914, but due to world war I she and her husband were crowned only in 1922. During the war she volunteered as a Red Cross nurse to help sick and wounded and wrote a book, "My country" to raise funds for the Red Cross. When the war ended she helped the Romanians diplomats travelling to France, where they tried to secure the Romanian inhabited territories uniting all Romanian speakers in a single state. Her arrival was an international media sensation and she argued passionately that the Western powers should honour their debt to Romania ( which had suffered a casualty rate proportionately far greater than Britain, France or USA). After the death of her husband she remained in Romania, writing books and her memories, "The Story of My Life". She died at Peles Castle on 18 July 1938 and was buried next to her husband in the Monastery of Curtea de Arges. In accordance with her will, her heart was kept in a cloister at the Balchik Palace which she had built. In 1940 when Balchik was returned to Bulgaria, her heart was transferred to Bran Castle which was her home for few years. There can be found some of her personal objects, some others, including her crown, are guested at Maryhill in Washington State (USA). The information about Mary of Edinburgh , Queen of Romania were collected from Wikipedia Britannica.
Queen Maria's husband, Ferdinand of Romania was born in Sigmaringen in southwestern Germany on 24 August 1865 as the son of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Infanta Antonia of Portugal and died in 1927. In conclusion, the Romanian and British royal families are related through Queen Victoria. This connection and Prince Charles' interest and love for nature and the preserving of traditions brought him in Romania, a charming land, but mostly unknown for many others.
More information and pictures about Prince Charles' visits in Romania can be found here: