King Charles’s first-ever visit to Germany as Britain’s head of state has been described by an expert as “historic”, and will feature several important stops reinforcing the bond between Berlin and London.
King Charles is visiting Germany this week
King Charles and Queen Camilla’s three-day state visit to Germany will see the monarch wield the “most significant” soft power available to the UK, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said. Their Majesties will be in Germany until Friday, and will pack their days with significant engagements and historic visits.
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Notably, Mr Fitzwilliams said, Charles will address on Thursday the German Federal Parliament, the Bundestag.
While he had already done so in 2020 as Prince of Wales, this week the King will become the first British head of state to do so.
Speaking about the importance of the three-day trip, the commentator told Express.co.uk: “King Charles will be the first monarch to address the Bundestag on this historic visit. He did this when Prince of Wales in 2020 on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two.
“The sight of a British monarch in Germany has a symbolic importance and the visit to the St Nikolai Memorial, the site of a church destroyed by Allied bombing, is significant too. Even the Queen did not visit Germany until 1965.
King Charles delivered a speech at the Bundestag as Prince of Wales in November 2020
This marks Charles’s first overseas visit as King
“Britain and Germany are allies whose contribution is pivotal to NATO, which is so essential with the brutal war raging in Ukraine.
“The King’s support for climate change will be made clear, with government approval, when he sees the pioneering use of green technology in Hamburg and visits an organic farm near Berlin.”
While in Germany, King Charles and Camilla will be powerful ambassadors for Britain, who will emphasise Berlin’s close ties with London.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “A state visit is Britain’s most significant use of soft power and the King’s meeting with Ukrainian refugees underlines the importance of the post-Brexit friendship between Britain and Germany at a time when, tragically, there is war once again in Europe.”
The links between Germany and the UK are also a personal matter for the King, as both the Royal Family and his father have a close bond with Berlin.
It has been barely a century since King George V changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor to escape the anti-German sentiment shared by many Britons during World War 1.
King Charles also has German cousins, given all of Prince Philip’s sisters married into German royalty.
The Queen and Prince Philip’s first official visit to Germany was in 1965
King Charles is thought to refer to his German ancestry in a speech he will deliver at the state banquet, emphasising his family’s close ties with his hosts.
The white-tie event hosted by Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender has been tipped to include some of the King’s German relatives.
While King Charles’s first visit to Germany is happening only months into his reign, Queen Elizabeth II first headed to the country for an official trip in 1965, more than a decade after her accession to the throne.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK