Everything you need to know about King Charles III’s Hungarian relative
Count Tibor Kálnoky is not only the relative of the new British king but also a distant ancestor of Bram Stoker’s famous Dracula, Vlad Țepeș. The Hungarian Count regularly hosted the late Prince of Wales in Zalánpatak (Valea Zălanului), Transylvania, Romania. Charles has always said that he loved discovering how nature and the villagers could live in harmony. Here’s what you need to know about Count Kálnoky.
“Well, I’m related to Dracula. Fortunately, only very, very, very far“, Count Tibor Kalnoky told the Telegraph when asked about Charles III’s regular visits to the Transylvanian village of Zalánpatak.
The Kálnoky family received their title from Habsburg Emperor and Hungarian King Leopold I (1657-1705) in 1697. However, Tibor Kálnoky was not born in their renaissance castle in Miklósvár as the family had to flee after the capture communist control in Romania (1945). He is the third child of Silesian German Marianne Kernbach and Count Farkas Kálnoky. He was only six months old when they emigrated to the United States and a year old when they returned to Europe.
He grew up in Germany, went to kindergarten in the Netherlands and started school in the south of France. At 11, they moved to Paris, where he opened a “hospital for birds” when he was only 16. He graduated as a veterinarian in Hanover and Munich, muvelodes.net wrote.
In 1987, when he was only 21 years old, they visited Sepsikőröspatak with his father, from where his father had to flee at the age of 8 more than half a century earlier. They saw that the building they once called home was devastated.
Interestingly, Tibor Kálnoky didn’t speak Hungarian at the time, so he started learning the language with enthusiasm. He wanted to understand his family heritage, so he went through old degrees.
He first moved to Budapest and worked for a French pharmaceutical company. He met his wife, Anna Boga, in the Hungarian capital. They held their wedding in 1995 in the ruined castle of Miklósvár, his family’s ancestral home. Three children were born from their happy union: Mátyás (1994), Vince (1996) and Miklós (2000).
They then moved to Bucharest, where he worked for a German pharmaceutical company and regularly visited Miklósvár, Zalánpatak and Kőröspatak, where he wanted to start a new life.
In 2014 he won an application from the Norwegian Fund, so he could start rebuilding the castle. “I would work for the Earl until my hands and legs fray,” said one of the locals working on the project. Kálnoky built a museum (the Museum of Transylvanian Life) and opened a shop selling local products. Soon Zalánpatak and Miklósvár became world famous: The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN Travel and Duna World all reported on his home. And he invited Charles III to the village, where the British monarch recently bought a small peasant house.
It organizes equestrian tours, launches rural tourism and even a school program with the help of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Here is a video of his castle in Miklósvár: