Blood Ties: Prince Charles Claims ‘Dracula’ Inspiration Vlad the Impaler as Ancestor

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Susana Vera / Reuters

They’ve both spent a fair amount of time in castles. But other than that, NewsFeed struggles to think of common links between the Prince of Wales and Romania’s most famous tyrant.

One disposed of his enemies by impaling their heads on stakes, while the other one can’t even lock people up in the Tower of London anymore. But according to Charles, the unlikely pair are linked by the strongest bond of all: blood.

The heir to the British throne claims that genealogy shows he is distantly related to the infamous 15th century warlord, who is thought to have slaughtered close to 80,000 people during his bloodthirsty conquests across Europe.

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Prince Charles has worked extensively to protect forests in the Transylvania region, and according to the Associated Press, told a British TV show that his unlikely ancestor inspired him to take a special interest in the area. Charles has bought a home in the region and says its unspoiled landscape makes Transylvania a “Romanian national treasure.”

But NewsFeed is unsure whether Vlad the Impaler would appreciate the family ties. Popular British rock band Kasabian have previously recorded a song named Vlad The Impaler, complete with a video where Vlad, who was also the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, wages war on modern England.

Jak Phillips is a contributor at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @JakPhillips. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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