Late Queen Elizabeth II and her family have long fascinated those of us who grew up on Disney movies and fairy tales. Those residing in Buckingham Palace have sparked countless gossips and rumours throughout history that brought them to the headlines and cover pages of millions of UK and international tabloids. On the occasion of Prince Harry’s new scandalous biography hitting the bookstores, we thought to examine the world’s most celebrated family from a different point of view. In this post, we will take the lid off the secret Hungarian ties of the British Royal family.
The Queen’s Hungarian Great-Great-Grandmother
The longest-serving royal in the history of the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II was loved both in the UK and beyond borders. Few people know, however, that the Queen had a distant Hungarian relative in her bloodline. Her great-great-grandmother was called Klaudia Rhédey (1812-1841) and came from a noble Transylvanian family. The attractive countess married Duke Alexander of Württemberg whom she met at a carnival ball in Vienna. Legend has it, it was love at first sight, yet the young couple had to wait 5 years to tie the knot. Klaudia’s strict father refused to give his approval until his future son-in-law mastered Hungarian. Sadly, Klaudia could not enjoy married life for long as she died at the of 29 in a horse accident.
King Charles’s Hungarian relative from Transylvania
The newly elected successor of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III takes regular trips to a sleepy Transylvanian village called Zalánpatak (Valea Zălanului). You may wonder why on earth the king would choose to spend his holidays in the middle of nowhere. The answer is that the scenic rural region holds a special place in the former Prince of Wales’ heart who goes there to relax and unwind in the company of his Hungarian relative, Count Tibor Kálnoky. Also known for having a distant kinship with Vlad the Impaler (or Vlad Dracula), the polyglot count leads a quite fascinating life. His family emigrated to the USA when he was 6 months old, he attended kindergarten in the Netherlands and pursued his studies in the South of France. He is currently involved in rural tourism, operating a local museum and a couple of guest houses as well as working on several other projects.
Hungarian model who almost married Prince William
If history took a different turn back then, now we would have our very own Hungarian royalty in Buckingham Palace. The passionate love story of flamboyant Prince William of Gloucester and 56-er Hungarian refugee Zsuzsi Starkloff stirred a huge scandal in the Royal family 50 years ago. William and Zsuzsi caught feelings for each other in Tokyo where the prince served as a diplomat and the Hungarian beauty was working as the face of beauty giant, Revlon. Although they initially tried to hide from the press, their romance was soon made public and the news quickly traveled to the UK. Due to the model’s divorce status and Jewish origin, the couple could not get the Royal family’s blessing to get married. Finally, the shocking fatal plane crash of Prince William put an end to their relationship.
Source: The Guild Of British Royalty Facebook Group
– Eleonora Jobst –
Main picture: canva.com