Vlad the Impaler was a 15th century nobleman who gained a reputation as a cruel, ruthless man in his campaigns agains the Ottomans and his own people. Now, Prince Charles is admitting to his familial ties with the man who was the inspiration for Count Dracula.
The Daily Mail reports that Prince Charles is campaigning to save the forests of Transylvania, an area he feels particularly close to due to his family connection with Vlad the Impaler. Also known as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, Vlad is reportedly a distant ancestor of Charles' great-grandmother Queen Mary.
Vlad earned his gruesome nickname after his favorite way to torture and killed his victims -- impaling them with huge metal stakes. His cruelty is said to have inspired the character of Count Dracula, created by Bram Stoker.
Despite the nasty reputation, Prince Charles laughs about his lineage. "The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of stake in the country."
Because of rapid economic growth in Romania, forests are under threat from development and logging. Prince Charles is fighting for the forests to be protected before they are destroyed.
Read more about Vlad the Impaler and Prince Charles' fight for the forests of Transylvania here.