Prince Charles is well-known for his projects all through the United Kingdom which have supported rural crafts and heritage and also boosted local employment especially amongst the young. This week he has announced a similar scheme for Transylvania during his current visit to Romania. On Wednesday, he opened “The Prince of Wales’s Training Centre”. This is in a converted eighteenth century barn in the village of Viscri. This is a UNESCO protected site, a Saxon village where villagers are joined in the main street by geese and cows.
The Prince said the centre will foster skills among rural communities and help increase employment. More than 150 people this year will “benefit from free training in heritage preservation, farming, traditional fabrics and how to start a business in the countryside, which is always, of course, an enormous challenge,” he continued.
In addition to training Romanians in their local crafts, the centre will host other events and charities. A lecture theatre and café in the barn were financed with funding from Raiffeissen Bank.
During his visit to Viscri, he was also able to watch local women embroidering traditional designs on white cheesecloth. “I felt excited … but because he is natural and knows how to be pleasant with people… words began to flow and it was very easy to discuss with him,” said seamstress Ana Negru. “He empathized with us … he asked us whether we sew every day and whether we enjoy traditional stitching.”
Prince Charles is a regular visitor to Romania, and has been since 1998. As part of his visit to Romania this time he has also been involved in talks with President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, on Romanian cultural heritage, traditional architecture and sustainable development. No doubt calling on experience he has gained within both the Duchies of Cornwall and Rothesay.
This training centre is not his first venture within Romania, last year he launched “The Prince of Wales Foundation Romania. This charity supports the Eastern European nation’s heritage and rural life. However, the Royal Family’s links with the region go back somewhat further, to a time when the land was part of Hungary, prior to an accord in 1920. Klaudia RhédeyMary, grandmother to Mary of Teck, Queen Consort to King George V was a member of Hungarian aristocracy, who could trace her ancestry back to the Princes of Transylvania of the seventeenth century.