Blikk, a Hungarian tabloid, found the Hungarian cook of King Charles III. Aunt Éva (Éva néni) is proud of the walking stick she received from the former Prince of Wales. She shared some secrets about the king’s visits to the tiny Hungarian village of Zalánpatak in Transylvania. She said they hoped the king would continue his visits to Transylvania, where locals would always welcome him. Here are some stories about Charles you probably never read before.
According to blikk.hu, Charles III visits a tiny Hungarian village in Central Romania if he seeks time and opportunity for recreation. He “fell in love” with a small Hungarian village, Zalánpatak, fifteen years ago. The village is at the end of a side road, in the middle of some beautiful forests where only the barking of the shepherd dogs disturbs tranquility.
96 percent of the locals are Hungarians, and the village looks as though time stopped there. The king bought an estate in the settlement years ago. He renewed it, but it remained a small farmhouse-like building with a beautiful garden with flowers and endemic trees and plants. Instead of numerous staff, there is only Aunt Éva. She is the cook but also does the washing up, the washing, and the administration.
Anybody can book a room in the house. Furthermore, you can even sleep in King Charles’s bed, and you only have to pay 100 EUR per night.
“I have known the prince since 2012. He visited us every year except the years of the pandemic. We met in May for the last time. He behaves simply, not flamboyantly. He has a good sense of humour, he is friendly, and his staff always thanks everything. He never goes to sleep without saying goodbye to us in the kitchen. We always wait for that”, the king’s Hungarian cook said.
Charles regularly arrives with 9-10 of his staff and in secret. Of course, locals know when he comes, so they swarm the entrance. But that never disturbed Charles. On the contrary, he shook the hands of the children and greets everybody. “He likes our village and finds our dishes attractive. I cook for him and he regularly tastes everything. His favourites are tomato soup and pörkölt. There is a small table in the back of the garden where he paints and draws. He likes wildflowers and takes long walks on the hills. He drinks tea at 5”, she added.
Blikk visited the king’s room, and they experienced the lack modernity, maybe for the lamp. “He respects traditions and likes to preserve what is old”, Éva said. She added the king always sleeps in one corner of the bed and puts the photos of his wife and children on the cabinet. He never brings too many clothes, only what he needs. There is always enough space for his clothes in the wardrobe, she told Blikk.
King Charles regularly organises parties inviting local musicians. Aunt Veronka, another local, said his father was one of the king’s favourites. They shook hands many times, and Charles adored how he played the violin. Sometimes he brought Veronka with him to sing some folk songs for Charles. She was surprised that Charles tasted every dish he was offered. He liked even the poppy seed polenta.
Charles bought another house in Szászfehéregyháza, another village close to Zalánpatak but populated by Romanians. He also supported the settlement to renew its buildings through his foundation. His house is like a museum in the village since he does not sleep there. Charles always visits his friend, Count Tibor Kálnoky’s mansion in Miklósvár.
Zsolt Ambarus, the mansion’s manager, said the king had a firm handshake, worthy of a king. He was nice and direct. He also tried their apple pie and elderflower syrup. He has a room in the mansion, too. It is like the others, but its bathroom is a bit bigger and has a sauna and an ice machine inside.
Charles will not get rich from his Transylvanian estates. His room in his estate in Zalánpatak can be booked for 100 EUR per night. The entrance ticket to his other house in Szászfehéregyháza, operating as a museum, is 2.83 EUR. His suite in Miklósvár is more expensive. But it is also better equipped compared to his room in Zalánpatak. You can book it for 263 EUR per night.