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“What’s the point of being a prince if you don’t live in a castle? It’s embarrassing! That’s how I felt as a kid,” His Imperial Highness Prince Nazim Osmanoglu told Insider during a Zoom interview.
Prince Nazim Ziyaeddin Nazim Osmanoglu — who goes simply by “Naz” — is a 35-year-old British comedian, actor, and TikTok star. He’s also a member of Turkey’s former ruling family, who were exiled from the country in 1924 after the Ottoman Empire was abolished.
Osmanoglu grew up in Dubai and the UK, where he was raised with a modest understanding of his title, but without the benefits that came with being royal. His family “lived in a house” and weren’t allowed back to Turkey until 1984, he told Insider.
Osmanoglu had to pay to visit Dolmabahce Palace, where his ancestors lived
While Osmanoglu didn’t have a castle, he got the next best thing when he visited his family’s former home, Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, for the first time in 2016.
The palace was empty for 32 years after the family were exiled, and was subsequently transformed into a tourist attraction, according to its official website.
“I made a joke at the time, because it’s a museum and you have to pay. I went in and said, my ancestors used to live here — this is my house,” Osmanoglu told Insider. “And they’re like, yeah, whatever. I paid 30 Turkish Lira ($3.50) to get in, I didn’t even get a discount!”
Osmanoglu said one of the tour guides recognized his name and gave him a “personal tour” of the property, showing him areas of the palace that weren’t available to the public.
It wasn’t the only time he was recognized during the visit. The comic performed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Istanbul, where he said “people were lining down the street” to meet him because of his royal status.
Back in the UK, most of Osmanoglu’s fans have no idea that he’s a royal
Osmanoglu’s life in London centers around his career as a comic rather than his royal status.
His monthly comedy night at The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, London will resume in the coming months, although a date has not been officially announced yet.
Got ID’d in your mask yet? https://t.co/DJFdkgLlNP
— Naz Osmanoglu (@naz_osmanoglu) May 7, 2021
Despite being a prince, he doesn’t use his royal title when performing.
“In a way, my stage name is not being a prince. I’m only known as a prince off stage,” Osmanoglu laughed. “I always thought it would get in the way. I thought introducing myself as ‘Prince Nazim Ziyaeddin Nazim Osmanoglu’ was a bit much, so I didn’t do it.”
Osmanoglu’s detachment from his royal title started at an early age.
He said his time at Wellington College, a boarding school in Berkshire, England, which is attended by students from wealthy and aristocratic families, reminded him of how far removed he was from his royal status.
“I went to a boarding school where people weren’t princes — they were only dukes and things, but they had castles!” Osmanoglu joked. “They had castles and bloody mansions and I’m an actual royal and didn’t have any of that.”
You can find Osmanoglu on TikTok under the name @ChapsComedy, where he creates sketches with fellow comedian Tom Houghton.
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