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Sunday June 23, 2024

Charles III in Germany for first foreign trip as king

By AFP
March 30, 2023

BERLIN: Britain´s Charles III began his first state visit as king on Wednesday, arriving in Germany for a trip billed as “an important European gesture” to maintain strong ties after Brexit.

“Today, on the day six years ago when Britain began its exit from the European Union, we are opening a new chapter in our relations,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a speech welcoming Charles and Queen Consort Camilla.

That Charles had picked Germany for his inaugural foreign trip as monarch was a “great gesture, and an important sign for German-British relations”, added Steinmeier. Earlier, Charles and Camilla had, via a message on Twitter, underlined their “great joy to be able to continue the deepening of the longstanding friendship between our two nations”.

Germany rolled out the pomp in their welcome of the royal visitors, greeting them at Berlin-Brandenburg airport with a 21-gun salute while two military jets made a flypast as they watched from the top of the plane stairs.

The British Union Jack was flapping alongside the German and European Union flags along Berlin´s central Unter den Linden avenue, which leads to the Brandenburg Gate, 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.