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Prince Charles tours Bucharest, says hi to Vlad the Impaler

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/31/2017
Britain's Prince Charles, center, speaks to Ivan Patzaichin, former Romanian rowing star and four times Olympic medalist, in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Britain's Prince Charles toured the Village Museum during his visit to Romania, Italy and Austria, a trip seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) © The Associated Press Britain's Prince Charles, center, speaks to Ivan Patzaichin, former Romanian rowing star and four times Olympic medalist, in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Britain's Prince Charles toured the Village Museum during his visit to Romania, Italy and Austria, a trip seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Britain's Prince Charles reconnected with one of his ancestors on Friday, walking past a statue of Vlad the Impaler during a tour of Bucharest on his final day in Romania.

Romania's ambassador to Britain, Dan Mihalache, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Mihalache said Romanians were concerned about their future status after Britain formally leaves the bloc, estimating there are up to half a million Romanians living in Britain— many more than the 190,000 officially registered there.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) © The Associated Press Romania's ambassador to Britain, Dan Mihalache, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Mihalache said Romanians were concerned about their future status after Britain formally leaves the bloc, estimating there are up to half a million Romanians living in Britain— many more than the 190,000 officially registered there.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The prince's three-nation trip is seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally despite its impending departure from the bloc.

Britain's Prince Charles, left, joins a traditional folk dance in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Britain's Prince Charles toured the Village Museum during his visit to Romania, Italy and Austria, a trip seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) © The Associated Press Britain's Prince Charles, left, joins a traditional folk dance in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Britain's Prince Charles toured the Village Museum during his visit to Romania, Italy and Austria, a trip seen as an effort to reassure European Union nations that Britain remains a close ally. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

During his tour of the old city, Charles also visited a project that offers restoration support to historical buildings in disrepair.

Charles owns two properties in Romania's northwest Transylvania region which he visits yearly. He is on tour to "highlight the U.K.'s relationship with European partners" in areas such as military ties and combatting human trafficking, according to his website.

Charles is related to the 15th-century prince through his great-grandmother Queen Mary, the wife of George V, who was related to a German noble family. Charles has publicly spoken about being a distant relative of Vlad, who reportedly impaled Turks, thieves and traitors on stakes.

The heir to the British throne also visited a school and a children's club in Vizuresti, a small village north of Bucharest with a large Roma population, where he was greeted Friday with bread and salt and chatted with local residents and children.

Kindergarten teacher Magda Diaconu, a mother of eight, told Charles about her daughter and son-in-law who are working in the UK making kitchen furniture. She said they were appreciated by their boss.

"I am fearful that they may be sent home because of Brexit," she said.

Charles will be joined by his wife Camilla when he flies to Italy later Friday. The tour also takes him to Austria.

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