Prince Charles
The Foreign and Common Wealth Office (FCO) has today released the weirdest questions members have been asked by travellers who are in trouble abroad. Reuters

Prince Charles, claiming he is related to Vlad the Impaler of Dracula fame, is using his connection to his Transylvanian ancestor to help promote his interest in preserving Romania's forests, particularly those in the Transylvania region.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, says genealogy proves he is distantly related to Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, a 15th-century Romanian warlord dubbed Vlad the Impaler for hs favorite method of execution, killing and estimated tens of thousands by impaling them on giant stakes. This cruel practice, and his membership in the Order of the Dragon (Dracul), inspired Irish author Bram Stoker when he wrote the classic vampire novel Dracula in 1897.

Britain's Prince of Wales is less about glorifying Vlad III's link to Count Dracula than for his efforts against Ottoman expansion into the Balkans, and the resulting preservation of Romania's forests. On a visit to Romania earlier this year, Prince Charles called Transylvania a national treasure due to its unspoiled landscape and centuries-old rural farming traditions, The AP reports.

Now, during an interview that will be part of Wild Carpathia, a TV show dedicated to preserving the Romanian countryside and promoting the Transylvanian forests, the British royal will make the vampire connection more apparent. Taking Wild Carpathia host Charlie Ottley around the home he bought in the area, Prince Charles hails Transylvania for being the last corner of Europe where you can see true sustainability and complete resilience and the maintenance of entire ecosystems.

It's the timelessness of it which is so remarkable, Charles says in the interview, which will air on Oct. 30. [Transylvania is] 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.

The Prince of Wales is taking an interesting step in asserting his connection to Vlad the Impaler. A bloodthirsty vampire and medieval torture aren't exactly connections used for promoting the British monarchy.

The royal is more than willing however, to use his vampire ancestry to good advantage. I have, Prince Charles said, getting a jump on the Dracula jokes, a bit of a 'stake' in the country, and his ecological efforts are sure to gain tourist and environmental agency attention for Transylvania.