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Britain’s King Charles III makes first state visit to Germany post Brexit



Germany gave a warm welcome to King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla during their first state visit on Wednesday. The visit has been described as an “important European gesture” to maintain strong ties post Brexit. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed Charles and Camilla with a speech that signalled the opening of a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries. The choice of Germany for Charles’s first visit, after a planned trip to France was postponed, showed Berlin was a “key partner” for Britain as it seeks to reset relations with the EU.

Rolling out the pomp in welcome

Germany welcomed the royal visitors with a 21-gun salute and two military jets that made a flypast as they watched from the top of the plane stairs at the Berlin-Brandenburg airport. The British Union Jack was flapping alongside the German and European Union flags along Berlin’s central Unter den Linden avenue, where crowds of well-wishers waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the dignitaries. Steinmeier and German First Lady Elke Buedenbender met the royal couple with military honours at the landmark, the first time it has provided a backdrop for receiving a state guest.

Charles’s German connection

Charles will become the first monarch to address the German parliament during his three-day visit, with a speech on Thursday, before travelling to the port city of Hamburg on Friday. Charles’s command of German is a nod to the British royal family’s roots in Germany notable through Charles’s great-great-great-grandfather Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria’s husband. Charles is a regular in Germany, having been in the country more than 40 times. He has also spoken at the Bundestag in 2020.

Evening state banquet and farm visits

Steinmeier laid out a state banquet in the evening at his Bellevue Palace with vegetarian options like spinach tarts to be served. On Thursday, Charles will speak with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and meet refugees recently arrived from Ukraine. Steinmeier and the royal couple will then visit a British-German military unit and an organic farm in the surrounding state of Brandenburg. In Hamburg on Friday, the king is due to tour a renewable energy project.

Deep significance of Charles’s visit

In Hamburg, Charles will commemorate victims of 1943 air raids over the city. The bombings, codenamed ‘Operation Gomorrah’, were carried out by night by the British air force, and by day by US forces. The visit of King Charles III clearly showed that the longstanding friendship between Germany and the UK still continues despite all political changes.



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