04/10/2012

From gun scares to vampires, royals get an education

Felipe Juan Froilan
Spain's royal family got a scare when the grandson of King Juan Carlos, Felipe Juan Froilan (left, with his grandfather in 2011) accidentally shot himself in the foot while practising with his father. (AFP/Getty Images)

Oh, those young royals ... you never know what they'll do or where they'll show up.

Today we have Easter weekend tales of guns and vampires -- one involving the grandson of Spain's King Juan Carlos, the other the always adventurous Prince Harry. Both, fortunately, had happy endings.

First, to young Felipe Juan Froilan, the 13-year-old son of the king's eldest daughter Infanta Elena. He was out with his father Jaime de Marichalar on Monday night in Soria, doing some target practice outside the family home. (This, despite the fact that under Spanish law, children under 14 are not allowed to use firearms.)

Felipe was apparently walking with the rifle pointing down when it went off, shooting him in the foot.

"He has suffered a minor accident," said a royal spokesman. The prince, fifth in line for the throne, is expected to spend a couple of days in hospital and he has had visits from his mother, who is separated from de Marichalar, and his grandmother Queen Sofia.

It's not known if the family had a special gun permit for the teen, and the BBC reports that Spanish police are investigating the incident.

Froilan was lucky. Gun accidents have had much more tragic consequences in Spain's royal family. In 1956, King Juan Carlos's 14-year-old brother, Alfonso, was killed when the revolver he was holding went off at the royal family's home.

Meanwhile, Harry spent his Easter weekend checking out his family roots. No, not with family, and not in England. In Romania ... Transylvania to be exact.

Tibor KalnokyIt was only last year that Harry's father, Prince Charles, revealed that one of his ancestors was Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian ruler who inspired the fictional Dracula. ("Transylvania is in my blood," he said. "The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country." -- see, Charles does have a sense of humour.)

Charles visited the Transylvania area, fell in love with it, and bought a farmhouse and a few other properties. The 27-year-old Harry, making his first visit, was the guest of Count Tibor Kalnoky(right), who befriended Charles several years ago and was a Harryguest at Kate and William's wedding last year.

Harry's visit did not go unnoticed by locals who spotted him around town, sinking his teeth, so to speak, into the country's attractions. The mayor of the town of Baraolt, Istvan Nagy, said he gave the prince some tunica, a Romanian drink noted for its fruity base and about 50 per cent alcohol content.

That should have been enough to steel Harry for the ride home Monday on a Hungarian budget airline called ... wait for it ... Wizz Air.

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