VIDEO | Prince Charles heads to Transylvania the place he calls his second home

Britain’s Prince Charles on Thursday was staying in Transylvania at one of his properties to recharge his batteries in the unspoilt countryside which he has been visiting for more than 20 years.

The Prince of Wales arrived at his house in the tiny village of Valea Zalanului in central Romania  on Wednesday evening for a short break after meeting Ukrainian refugees in Bucharest,  Agerpres news agency reported.


It is his first visit to Romania since 2019, the year before the pandemic, and it is the closest a member of the British royal family has been to the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

„We feel for you greatly, it’s a nightmare situation,” he said. „I’m full of admiration for the Ukrainian people. Total, extraordinary courage and resilience,” he told Ukrainian refigees on Wednesday.More than one million have entered Romania since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

Charles is a vocal supporter of Romania’s countryside and cultural heritage, and there is even talk about him becoming king in Romania, although the country has been a republic since 1947 when the communists forced King Michael to abdicate. Michael and Charles’ father,  the late Prince Philip, were second cousins.

He launched the Prince of Wales Foundation Romania in 2015, an educational charity which aims to support heritage preservation, agriculture and sustainable development in Romania.

Prince Charles is also the chair of the Mihai Eminescu Trust which has planted some 1.5 million tree saplings and help over 400 master craftsmen in various medieval villages in Transylvania.

Wild Carpathia

He made a film in 2020 with British presenter Charlie Ottley, producer of the Wild Carpathia documentary series, describing his visits to Romania which began in 1998.

Recalling his first visit to Romania,  Charles enthused about Romania’s  country’s “vast mixed forests,” “unique heritage” and „breathtaking natural landscapes.”

„There is so much more that I long to explore. Romania is an astonishingly diverse country,” the prince says.

Cultural diversity

„To find such huge …. natural and cultural diversity under a single flag is quite remarkable, and it’s one of the features that make Romania such a unique and special corner of Europe,” he said.

“So too is the determination of the Romanian people to preserve and protect their heritage, to hold fast to their crafts and traditions and retain the very best of the past whilst building a brighter future.”


Prince Charles now owns several properties in Transylvania, in Viscri and in the Zalan  Valley, whose residents are ethnic Hungarian and call the village Zalánpatak.

These villages have now become popular with tourists.

Viscri is known for its pastel-coloured houses and its UNESCO World Heritage fortified church. It is said that Zalán Valley used to belong to one of Charles’ ancestors.

„The tiny hamlet of Zalán Valley was first documented in the 16th century as belonging to Bálint (Valentin) Kálnoky of Kőröspatak, one of the Transylvanian ancestors of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.

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