Being a massive Dracula fan, I naturally looked into the history of it and what inspired Bram Stoker to write it. Dracula is based upon a Transylvanian Count named Vlad Tepes. He wasn’t half as bad as we’d all like to believe but he did have some funny quirks…
As we all know, he was fond of staking/impaling people to death (hence the nickname ‘Vlad the Impaler’). Now we’re not talking your average Buffy-style kick to the head then stake through the heart move. Oh no, you would be hauled up above one giant person-sized stake and then pushed onto it. Usually through the abdomen. Or if you were a pregnant woman, through your belly. Or if old Vladdie was having a particularly bad day and wanted to make someone else’s worse, he would cut the unborn child out of the pregnant woman and put that on a stake too. Then you’d simply be left to die. Painfully. And more than likely, slowly. Lovely. And Brits have the nerve to complain about how long the NHS take to treat people…
I don’t know about you, but I am a firm believer in culture and customs and being respectful enough to embrace a country’s culture when you are in that country. For example, if you visited a Hindu temple in India, you wouldn’t walk in with your shoes on. You’d politely take them off at the door. As is custom. Or the various
Middle-Earth Middle-Eastern countries where it is customary for women to keep their shoulders and heads covered. You would likewise, be respectful enough to do the same. So I’m all for Vlad’s reasoning on this next story…
Vlad was visited by some Ottoman envoys offering peace. These guys had massive, and I mean ma-hoo-sive turbans and much to Vlad’s distaste, they kept them on their heads while in his presence.
For Vlad, it was customary to remove hats, helmets, turbans etc when you were in the company of nobility, especially him, so he was just a tad more than ‘miffed’ at them. When he asked them to remove the turbans, they flat out refused and said it wasn’t the way they did things in their land and that it was part of their religion that they never remove the turbans (which personally I think is a bit of a porky cos they would never fit in the shower with those things on). Anyway, Vlad was so annoyed (and I say ‘annoyed’ not ‘angry’ cos I think they rather got off lightly) that he had their turbans nailed to their heads. Classic.
Anyway I digress. I really do think Vlad was very original in all his ways and whilst I’m not overly sure that he actually DID drink the blood of his enemies as opposed to just SAYING he was going to and someone heard it and blew it waaaaay out of proportion but he figured it would be good for his PR and Marketing team and went ahead with it, he still was actually a pretty fair ruler and did well with the whole ‘ruling’ thing.
So naturally I was “lovin’ it proper” (is that how you kids say it nowadays, I dunno) when I read that Romania have discovered that Prince Charles (I do love him, bless him) is the great-great grandson-sixteen-time-removed of Vlad Tepes. Which the headlines will love and write something like “Royal Family are really Blood-Sucking Vampires – Proof Inside!” – bunch of wankers, I hate the media. Romania were keen to bring tourism to the max in their country, which I hear is very nice and I would like to go someday, especially to Castle Bran where Vlad lived.
And of course, Prince Charles himself AND Camilla actually do love Romania and own a little farmhouse over there. So Prince Charles wasn’t bothered when they said he was related to Vlad the Impaler, he just took it all on the chin and laughed about it. Long live the Royals, I do love them.
I suppose all the weird nerdy conspiracy theorists out there that truly believe the bullshit about the Royal family being shape-shifting lizards who brainwash the population, will love this because it just gives them fuel for the fire and they’ll find some way of linking it with the lizard theory – like that Vlad had a pet lizard called Barry or something and he had it buried with him so obviously the Royals are lizards. I’m sure they’ll come up with something slightly less imaginative than that but they will find a link nonetheless.