Like father, like son. Like his ancestor Edward VII, King Charles III of England seems to believe in the path, certainly narrow but faster, of personal diplomacy to further anchor his country in Europe after Brexit.

While we have just learned that he will be going to France in the second half of September to make this state trip last March postponed due to the social situation in Paris and Bordeaux, the British sovereign has completed his stay. in the Carpathians and in Romanian Transylvania, a picturesque region for which he fell in love twenty-five years ago.

A small crowd of locals and tourists warmly greeted the king in the village of Viscri, the last stop on his Romanian journey. Walkabout, exchanges with onlookers, selfies and photos punctuated the solo visit of King Charles who went to the famous blue house he bought in 2006, now transformed into a small museum dedicated to his passion for botany.

Prince Charles leaves his “Blue House” in Viscri, Romania, May 31, 2017

AP/SIPA / © Bogdan Nicolae

“He has done a lot to promote Romania and the environment,” said Radu Marinovici, 75, from a nearby village. “It’s a surprise that he visits us so soon after his coronation, but he has a strong bond with Romania, where he can find peace and rest.”

A protector of Romanian villages

Concerned with harmony, a protected environment and the beauties of yesteryear, the king always said that he had found in Romania “the charm of an untouched nature and preserved traditional architecture”, especially in the countryside. the most remote and agricultural areas of Transylvania. After his discovery of the region in 1998, this convinced ecologist became an ardent protector of these villages founded in the 12th century by Saxon settlers. Several heritage rehabilitation projects have emerged under his leadership. “He put us on the map of the world”, summarizes an elderly resident of the village, “there are so many tourists here now!”

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Then Prince of Wales, Charles multiplied real estate purchases in Zalanpatak in the Carpathians or in Breb on the Ukrainian border. He even launched his own foundation in Romania aimed at protecting the country’s cultural and natural heritage and promoting sustainable development. Moreover, when the King of England is not in Romania, you can rent one of his houses for 195€ per night…

A solo visit

Coming without Queen Camilla, Charles III also stayed in Valea Zalanului, an isolated hamlet in Transylvania, in Szekler country, where Hungarian is spoken and where time seems to have completely stopped. There, in all simplicity, the king was able to go on hikes and picnics far from any protocol.

Charles III on June 2, 2023 in Romania with President Klaus Iohannis.

Charles III on June 2, 2023 in Romania with President Klaus Iohannis.

/SIPA / © Shutterstock

However, Charles III took advantage of his stay in Romania to meet President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest, who organized an official ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of his first trip to Romania. The opportunity to sing about his love for this land: “I have come to love Romania – your culture and your art, your heritage and your history, your vast landscapes and your priceless biodiversity… Romania has preserved, in its millennial forests, an authentic rural landscape and through some exceptional examples of sustainable agriculture, a unique natural wealth”.

Charles III meeting the inhabitants of Viscri, Romania, June 6, 2023.

Charles III meeting the inhabitants of Viscri, Romania, June 6, 2023.


When King Charles is asked about the origin of his passion for this Eastern European country, he affirms, with the support of a family tree, that through his great-grandmother Queen Mary, he would be a distant relative – in the 16th degree – of a famous 15th-century prince known as Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stocker’s character Count Dracula. Indeed, Mary of Teck, wife of George V, was the granddaughter of Countess Claudine Rhedey von Kis-Rhede, whose maternal family descends in direct line from Vlad II Dracul. Far from frightening the king, this ancestry delighted him and he rightly prided himself on having “Transylvania in his blood”.