Britain’s monarch, Charles III and his wife Camilla, the queen consort, are scheduled to be in Germany from Wednesday. They have a busy schedule as their three-day trip is filled with many stops. The royal couple will get a ceremonial welcome at the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Aside from the military honors they are to receive, the spot is remarkable, for no state guest has been received there before, according to the office of the German president.
The last time Charles and Camilla had a stop at the Brandenburg gate was in 2019, and that was during their whistle-stop tour. The British monarch and his wife are getting such a special welcome to symbolize the close relationship between Germany and the United Kingdom. The British monarch and German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have a friendly relationship that has grown over the past years of several meetings.
During the 2019 tour, the two met at the entrance of Bellevue Palace, the German president’s official residence. At this same venue, a state banquet will be held for the royal guests on the evening of March 29.
King Charles will also revisit another old spot as part of his visit. He is set to visit Bundestag, where he gave a speech on Remembrance Day in 2020. The situation will be different now, though. When he delivered his speech in November 2020, it was to an empty parliament due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This time though, the hall will be full to listen to his address.
The king’s schedule also includes visiting Hamburg on the second day of his trip. He will first tour a German-British military unit in Brandenburg that specializes in bridge construction. The German president will then accompany him as he travels to Hamburg. One of the planned activities is to show the monarch, who has a keen interest in environmental protection, some local climate-friendly technologies.
Hamburg is an important spot on the trip as it was where the British and US flew massive air raids in July 1943. The act was part of Operation Gomorrah and led to the death of more than 35,000 people while almost a million were left homeless. The two leaders will lay wreaths at St. Nikolai Church, a memorial from the war, in remembrance of the event.
The Hamburg visit will end with the royal couple signing the city’s Golden Book at Hamburg City Hall. Charles signed the book in 1987 when he visited the city with his then-wife, Diana. This is one of the events the king will be recreating during this iconic trip. He was at Bellevue Palace in 2009 at the invitation of the former German President, Horst Kohler.
The British monarch has regularly visited Germany, having visited the country over 40 times since 1962. While most of the visits were private, he always took the time to meet his fans and visit local landmarks.
While the British monarch is warmly welcomed in Germany, Germans have expressed their lack of interest in having their own royals. Most citizens prefer having a federal president over a king or queen. Nonetheless, British royalty is always welcome in Germany, especially as they have deep ties to the country.