Prince Charles: 'I have a stake in Transylvania's future'

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The Independent Online

The Prince of Wales has described how his ancestral links to a bloodthirsty nobleman said to be the inspiration behind the story of Dracula have given him "a stake" in the future of Transylvania.

The Prince, who is descended from the notorious Romanian lord Vlad the Impaler, talks about his passion for the "natural ecosystems" of the forests of Transylvania in a new documentary.

Vlad, who was also known as Dracula meaning son of the dragon, was renowned throughout Europe for his cruelty and for impaling his enemies on stakes.

Charles described the area around the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania as "the last corner of Europe where you can see true sustainability and complete resilience and the maintenance of entire ecosystems for the benefit of mankind but also for nature".

In the programme, called Wild Carpathia, he shows presenter Charlie Ottley around the home he has bought in the area.

The Prince said: "The great thing it seems to me about Transylvania is the combination of natural ecosystems, the forests and the agricultural areas together with the human cultural systems.

"It's the timelessness of it which is so remarkable - and almost out of some of those stories one used to read as a child. People are yearning for that sense of belonging and identity and meaning."

He added: "The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country."

The programme will be shown on the Travel Channel this Sunday.