Romania to use royal links to Dracula to attract British tourists

Telegraph.co.uk – Nov 5, 2012

The unique marketing strategy traces the Royal Family’s connection to Vlad III, Prince of Walachia, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler due to his penchant for impaling his enemies on stakes in the ground and leaving them to die.

Many academics have suggested that the character of Dracula, created by author Bram Stoker, was based on Vlad.

It is believed that the royal links with Vlad the Impaler come through Queen Mary, the consort of George V, and great-grandmother of the Prince of Wales.

The Romanian tourist board announced these royal links at the World Travel Market which opened in London today to attract British tourists.

Romania has already welcomed 7 per cent more Britons in the first three months of this year than in the same period last year, and as many as 118,000 British tourists visited in 2011.

There are further links between Romania and the Prince of Wales.

His great-grandfather’s cousin Marie married the crown prince of Romania and went on to rule the eastern European country after the First World War.

Last year Prince Charles claimed he was related to Vlad the Impaler, in an interview to promote the preservation of forests in Romania’s Transylvania region.

He joked: “The genealogy shows that I am descended from Vlad the Impaler. So I have a bit of a stake in the country”

Vlad the Impaler had a reputation for cruelty both against the Ottomans and against his own people. He skinned and boiled his victims, but his favourite form of torture was said to be impalement.

He is said to have killed as many as 100,000 in this fashion.

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