As we already reported many times, the British royal family has some Transylvanian Hungarian roots: Claudine (Hung. Klaudia) Rhédey, born and raised there is the great-great-grandmother of Elisabeth II. However, who exactly was Claudine Rhédey and how did she becomes one of the ancestors of the oldest ruling royal family in Europe? And are there any other links between Hungary and the kings and queens of the British Isles?
Dynastic relations in the Middle-Ages
Though the distance between Budapest and London is more than 1,000 miles, there were multiple connections between the two states even in the darkest centuries of the Middle-Ages. To start with, Hungarian peregrine students were learning at the most elite English universities. For example, one of the first students of Oxford University was Nicolaus of Hungaria who received a scholarship from Richard the Lionheart between 1193 and 1196. This generosity might be explained by the fact that
Richard I was brother-in-law to Queen Margaret of Hungary,
whose second husband was Béla III (1172-1196).
In fact, Margaret was the daughter of Louis VII of France, thus, a member of the renowned Capet family sitting on the French throne. Firstly, she married Henry the Young King, who was co-ruler with his father Henry II in England. However, after his death in 1183 the young widow married Béla III in 1186 and moved to Hungary.
The Árpád dynasty and the Christian Hungarian Kingdom was already well-known even before the 12th century in the British Isles. For example, when after the Danish conquest of England in 1016 Edmund Ironside’s son,
Edward the Exile had to flee he finally came to Hungary.
There he supported King Andrew I for the crown and lived in his court where his daughter, Margaret was raised in a very religious environment. They were recalled to England a couple of years before the battle of Hastings (1066). Because of the defeat they had to flee again to the Scottish King Malcolm III’s court. There the widowed Malcolm married Margaret who later became a saint of her country.
Why does Prince Charles regularly visit Transylvania?
The story begins long after the previous ones with a girl named Countess Claudine Rhédey of Kis-Rhéde. The Countess was born in Erdőszentgyörgy, Transylvania (today Romania) in 1812. In 1830 she met Duke Alexander of Württemberg; however, his father said no to Alexander’s proposal because the duke could not speak Hungarian. Therefore,
Alexander learnt the Hungarian language
and five years later he could marry Claudine. To be frank, not much is known about her later life except for that she died in 1841 in either a horse or a carriage accident.
Watch here how Prince Charles’s Transylvanian guesthouse looks:
In fact, three children were born from their marriage. Prince Francis of Teck married Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a granddaughter of British King George III. Thus, he became a member of the British Royal Family. He only had one daughter,
Mary of Teck who married Prince George, Duke of York in July 1893.
When George was crowned as George V in 1910, she became Queen of the United Kingdom. Thus, it can be clear now that Elisabeth II who is the granddaughter of George V is 6.3 pc Hungarian since she is the great-great-granddaughter of Claudine Rhédey.
Consequently, her eldest son and heir to the British throne,
Prince Charles is 3.1 pc Hungarian.
Here is a video about Prince Charles joining Romanian folk dancers:
Moreover, he owns four proprieties in Transylvania which he regularly visits. Furthermore, in 2015, he even established the Romanian Prince of Wales Foundation intending to pursue educational activities in the areas of heritage conservation, agriculture and sustainable development.
Prince Charles talking about Transylvania:
Featured image: www.facebook.com/buckinghampalaceshop
Source: Daily News Hungary