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Royals Plus Vampires? Count Us In

Dracula's Castle

Ask the typical person what Romania is famous for and you’ll likely get two answers: Olympians and Dracula.

But while gymnasts have the depressing tendency to grow up and retire, Dracula at least has the advantage of immortality, especially since he’s mostly fictitious.

So we have to give credit to the Romanian National Tourist Office for making the most of an old association: According to a recent report, the tourist board is planning to promote the historically true Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia—the 15th-century monarch who supposedly inspired the fictional Prince of Darkness—as a distant cousin of that can’t-get-enough-of-them British Royal Family.

Indeed, Prince Charles once quipped that he likely has a genealogical link (through Queen Mary, consort to George V) to Vlad the Impaler, the repressive ruler who was known for killing his enemies on a giant spike. “I do have a bit of a ‘stake’ in the country,” the dry-witted Prince said.

Even before this campaign, Britons have been coming in greater numbers to Romania: visits from the U.K. are reportedly up by 7 per cent compared to 2011. But we say bring that campaign to the States: the promise of vampires-plus-royal-family-vibes could prove irresistible to America’s undead-chasing anglophiles.

Photo by Marco Cristofori/Corbis

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