King Charles Admits He Has A Spooky Ancestor

For all its dignity and nobility, the British royal family also has a rather violent history. The Wars of the Roses pitted the houses of York and Lancaster against one another, with King Richard III having a hand in a number of executions (via Britannica). Queen Elizabeth I is rumored to have been behind the death of the wife of her rumored lover, Robert Dudley (per Reader's Digest). And of course we can't forget Henry VIII, who went through wives the way people with the flu go through tissues. So it's no real surprise that the current palace occupants have some unsavory folks in their ancestry.

Actor Luke Evans recently appeared on the British late-night program "The Jonathan Ross Show" to promote his new album (per The Evening Standard). It was there he explained that he has met King Charles III a number of times over the years because of his affiliation with The British Trust. Their first encounter was in 2014, when the monarch was still Prince of Wales. Evans described being "super nervous" about speaking to Charles, but found him "charming." In fact, the two discovered they had something in common: Evans was playing the role of an infamous historical villain — to whom Charles happens to be related. Let's just say that not only does King Charles have a silly side, he may also have a "biting" sense of humor.

Prince Charles is a distant relation of the real Dracula

When Luke Evans first met the (then) Prince Charles, he recalled, "He came up to me and said 'What are you working on at the moment?' and I said, 'I've just finished a movie about Vlad Țepeș who turns into Dracula.' And he went 'Funnily enough, I'm related to Vlad Țepeș'" (via Evening Standard).

Perhaps better known as Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Tepes was a real 15th-century Romanian prince who ruled over what was then known as Walachia. Per History, Tepes became infamous for his horrific methods of killing his enemies, including impaling them with wooden stakes and leaving them to die. And yes, his name was also Dracula: he was a member of a secret society of knights known as the Order of the Dragon, or "Dracul." Vlad's father was also a member, so as a junior, he just added an "a" to the end to indicate he was a "son" of Dracul. When author Bram Stoker wrote his best-known novel, he combined the ghastly real-life character of Vlad the Impaler with folklore tales of evil undead creatures. The word "nosferatu" is similar to a Romanian word meaning "the hateful one," according to linguist Julie Tetel Andresen.

According to the Daily Mail, King Charles III is indeed related to the bloody ruler, though it's a very distant connection. His great-grandmother, Queen Mary, was a descendant of Vlad Tepes' half-brother, Vlad IV. So Charles is "a great. grandson 16 times removed" — enough to make for an interesting talking point, but not close enough to raise concerns that the king's rule will be anything remotely like his ancestor's.