Charles and Camilla arrive in Berlin at start of four day tour

Charles and Camilla arrive in Berlin as the Prince of Wales prepares to wade into Brexit by urging politicians to protect Britain’s historic ‘bond’ with Germany

  • Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall have today landed in Berlin, Germany at the start of a four day trip
  • The heir to the throne and Camilla arrived at Berlin Tegel Airport and were greeted by a Guard of Honour
  • Later he will highlight historic bond between UK and Germany in what may be seen as push for soft Brexit

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have today landed in Berlin for the start of a four day trip in which he will urge politicians to protect Britain’s bond with Germany.

The heir to the throne and Camilla arrived at Berlin Tegel Airport where they were greeted by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood. 

To mark their arrival in the capital, there was also a Guard of Honour from the country’s Federal Defence Forces.

They were later greeted by Chancellor Angela Merkel outside the Federal Chancellery, and the three of them posed for photographs before they entered the building for a private meeting.

As the royal couple made their way into the Federal Chancellery, members of the public watched on from behind the gates.

One man shouted ‘Congratulations, grandfather’ as Charles made his way inside.

After a private meeting with Mrs Merkel, the couple will then make their way to visit the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Later today Charles will give a speech in what may be seen as a push for a softer Brexit, by pointing out that the two nations have transcended years of conflict to become friends and partners.

The heir to the throne and Camilla arrived at Berlin Tegel Airport where they were greeted by a Guard of Honour

Prince Charles and Camilla inspect the Guard of Honour from the country’s Federal Defence Forces

Prince Charles and Camilla were taken from the airport to meet Angela Merkel this afternoon on the first day of the four day trip

Prince Charles and Camilla shake hands with Angela Merkel this afternoon on the first day of the four day trip

Charles appears to share a joke with Angela Merkel as they met the German chancellor this afternoon after arriving in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales are seen on the balcony at the Chancellery in Berlin this afternoon

Earlier the heir to the throne and Camilla arrived at Berlin Tegel Airport where they were greeted by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood (right)

Charles and Camilla depart the RAF jet and are greeted by the UK ambassador Sir Sebastian Wood (in the black glasses) and his wife Sirinat Wood

And he will say he hopes any future relationship stays strong for the sake of young people today and generations to come.

The prince is to speak in Berlin at an event to celebrate the Queen’s birthday following a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He will acknowledge the Brexit crisis, saying of Anglo-German ties: ‘It is a relationship in transition.

‘But whatever the shape of our future relationship, and whatever is negotiated and agreed between governments and institutions, it is more clear to me than it has ever been, that the bonds between us will, and must, endure – and that our young people, and future generations, will have as much cause to cherish those bonds as our generation has had.

Charles and Camilla’s trip was supposed to come in the wake of Britain’s departure from the EU on March 29. It was decided the visit should go ahead despite Brexit being delayed

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall depart the Royal Air Force jet as they touch down at Berlin’s Tegel airport this afternoon

Prince Charles and Camilla look down on the Guard of Honour as they arrive at the Berlin airport for the start of their four day trip

Sirinat Wood (second left) wife of British Ambassador to Germany, Sebastian Wood (left), shakes hands with Prince Charles at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany

The prince (arriving in Berlin today with Camilla) is to speak in Berlin at an event to celebrate the Queen’s birthday following a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel

The heir to the throne and Camilla, accompanied by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood (seccond right, with blue tie) as they arrived at Berlin Tegel Airport

‘Our countries and our people have been through so much together. As we look towards the future, I can only hope that we can also pledge to redouble our commitment to each other and to the ties between us.

‘In so doing, we can ensure that our continent will never again see the division and conflict of the past; that together, we will continue to be an indispensable force for good in our world; and that the friendships and partnerships that bind us together will continue to create opportunity for us all.’

Charles’s speech will come at the start of a four-day trip to Germany, undertaken at the request of the British Government.

A German flag (L) and the Royal Standard (R) are seen at the cockpit window of a Royal Air Force jet with Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, the Dutchess of Cornwall, onboard

The Royal Air Force plane carrying Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall sits on the tarmac at the airport in Berlin this afternoon

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (pictured on April 10) will meet the royal couple as part of the trip which was scheduled to take place after the March 29 Brexit

The Prince of Wales will acknowledge the Brexit crisis in his speech and say it is a ‘relationship in transition’. He is pictured with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May at St James’s Palace in London on July 10 last year

It aims to highlight the depth of the bilateral relationship and its ‘enduring importance to both countries’.

Prince Charles’ speech tonight in which he will ask politicians to protect Britain’s historic bond with Germany

Prince Charles will today speak in Berlin at an event to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

He will say:  ‘It is a relationship in transition.

‘But whatever the shape of our future relationship, and whatever is negotiated and agreed between governments and institutions, it is more clear to me than it has ever been, that the bonds between us will, and must, endure – and that our young people, and future generations, will have as much cause to cherish those bonds as our generation has had.

‘Our countries and our people have been through so much together. As we look towards the future, I can only hope that we can also pledge to redouble our commitment to each other and to the ties between us.

‘In so doing, we can ensure that our continent will never again see the division and conflict of the past; that together, we will continue to be an indispensable force for good in our world; and that the friendships and partnerships that bind us together will continue to create opportunity for us all.’

He will add: ‘For some of us, of course, these connections are particularly personal. For me there are so many family connections and associations with Germany, as indeed with so many parts of Europe, going back for generations.

‘This year, for instance, we celebrate the bicentenaries of my great, great, great grandparents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who were both born in 1819.

‘Prinz Albert von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha was the most remarkable man who, in his all-too-short life, had such far-reaching influence on the arts, science, trade and industry in Britain.

‘To my family, he brought not just familial ties to what is now Germany, which we still cherish, but an affinity with German culture, and tradition, and a wish to share it across national borders.

‘Today, we are so much more than simply neighbours: we are friends and natural partners, bound together by our common experience, mutual interests and shared values.

‘These past decades have seen extraordinary change across Europe and Berlin is a proud statement of just how far we have come and of the enduring hope of past, present and future generations.

‘We must take nothing for granted, and of how today, as for centuries, the fortunes of all of us who share this small continent are so tightly interwoven by the myriad connections between us.’

The visit comes 102 years after the House of Windsor was created, replacing the family name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and erasing the German-style of titles in 1917 as the catastrophic effects of the First World War were felt. 

Charles and Camilla’s trip was supposed to come in the wake of Britain’s departure from the EU on March 29. It was decided the visit should go ahead despite Brexit being delayed.

Since the Queen no longer travels abroad, any visit by Charles is akin to a state visit and viewed by the Government as a weapon in its diplomatic armoury. 

Senior royals are seen to have the ability to open doors that politicians cannot.

Prince Charles has visited Germany more than 30 times in a public and private capacity.

His most recent visit came in 2009, when he made an official visit with Camilla to Berlin.

In 2015, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh made a State Visit to Germany, and in 2017 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. 

The speech will also highlight the family’s German ancestry – an interesting move given that his ancestors spent many years playing this down. 

George V changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor because of anti-German sentiment in the First World War. 

The trip begins in Berlin today as the royal couple met Angela Merkel and German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier. 

After a private meeting with the president, Charles and Camilla will visit and walk through Brandenburg Gate with the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Muller.

Mr Muller will give the couple a brief history of the gate, as well as explaining its importance to the city.

The prince and the duchess will then take the opportunity to meet members of the public outside the famous landmark.

For their final engagement of the day, the couple will attend the Queen’s Birthday Party at the British Ambassador’s residence, where he will give his speech.

Tomorrow they will travel to Leipzig and then to Munich, where Camilla will highlight projects working with victims of domestic violence.  

The Queen was also seen as having entered the Brexit fray, telling her local Women’s Institute in Sandringham, Norfolk, of the need for common ground and ‘never losing sight of the bigger picture’.

It echoed her Christmas address when she said that treating others with respect was ‘always a good first step towards greater understanding.’

And the Duke of Cambridge has also urged people to ‘come together in times of trouble and work for the common good’.  

German ties that go back 300 years 

The British monarchy has been closely linked with German royalty for at least three centuries.

Queen Anne’s death in 1714 brought the House of Stuart to an end and marked the beginning of the House of Hanover.

Anne was a Protestant, but more than 50 of her closest relatives were Catholics and banned from succeeding to the throne by an Act of Parliament.

As a result she was succeeded by her German second cousin George I, who had been Georg Ludwig the Prince Elector of Hanover. From 1814 the British monarch was also King of Hanover.


The British monarchy has been closely linked with German royalty for at least three centuries with Prince Charles a descendant of Prince Albert from Germany

That connection ended when Queen Victoria took over in 1837 because she was a woman, but under her reign the German connection became even stronger.

She married another German – her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent and Queen Victoria became known as the ‘grandmother of Europe’.

Albert had a profound impact on Britain. He led reforms in university education, welfare, the royal finances and slavery. He also had a special interest in the development of science.

He died at the age of 42, leaving Victoria devastated – she mourned for him for the rest of her life.

The House of Hanover ended with Victoria’s death in 1901. Her son and successor Edward VII was the first king in the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – another German name. 

This close German connection did not go down well in Britain and across the empire during the First World War. The Kaiser, Germany’s Wilhelm II, was Queen Victoria’s grandson and our George V’s first cousin. 

It led to a name change in the royal house to the more British-sounding Windsor, after the castle. Queen Elizabeth II chose to keep the Windsor name when she came to the throne in 1952.

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