King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were greeted by delighted fans today as they met the German president and first lady in Berlin for the first State Visit of their reign.
The royal couple mingled with crowds gathered by the Brandenburg Gate, with the King at one point bending down to pick up a man’s cap before returning it back to him.
Charles and Camilla were formally greeted by Germany’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and wife Elke Budenbender before the national anthems of Germany and the UK were played.
In a sign of the importance placed on the visit, the couple were given the first full ceremonial and military welcome at the landmark since the Second World War.
Even Queen Elizabeth II, who also visited Berlin for her last ever State Visit abroad in 2015, wasn’t afforded that honour.
The royal couple mingled with crowds gathered by the Brandenburg Gate, with the King at one point bending down to pick up a man’s cap before returning it back to him
The grateful well-wisher bowed and thanked the King, who continued moving down the line
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla are welcomed at the Brandenburg Gate by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender
Charles and Camilla had been due to fly in from Paris but the first part of their visit to France was cancelled at the 11th hour by President Macron amid scenes of huge civil unrest in his country. It will be re-arranged at a later date.
The Queen Consort sported a colourful turquoise coat and dress by Bruce Oldfield and a jaunty hat by Philip Treacy.
And in a beautifully personal detail, she was sporting a brooch that belonged to Queen Elizabeth, given to the late monarch by Queen Mary on her confirmation in 1942.
Charles will become the first monarch to address the German parliament, with a speech tomorrow, before travelling to the port city of Hamburg on Friday.
It is being seen as a sign of the importance that both Governments are placing on the visit post-Brexit and in the face of the conflict in Ukraine.
The Royal Family’s unique brand of ‘soft diplomacy’ is seen as a significant weapon for the British government to build on the already strong historic ties between the two countries.
Today, Charles and Camilla put out a statement sharing their excitement about the visit.
‘Ahead of our first State Visit to Germany, we are very much looking forward to meeting all of those who make this country so special,’ they wrote.
‘It is a great joy to be able to continue the deepening of the longstanding friendship between our two nations.’
Elke Buedenbender, Germany’s first lady, stands alongside the Queen Consort after welcoming her to Berlin
Charles shakes hands with Mr Steinmeier, the German president, who he is friends with
A man wears a paper crown and a Union flag while waiting for the royals to arrive
Crowds carrying German and British flags wait to greet the royals in Berlin
German troops massed at the Brandenburg Gate, where Charles and Camilla are being given a full ceremonial welcome
The late Queen visiting the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in 2015. Even she was not afforded the honour of a full ceremonial and military welcome at the famous site
Queen Elizabeth II greets children holding Union flags during her visit to Berlin in 2015
A royal source said: ‘The fact that the programme has so many unique ceremonial elements to it does reflect the strength of the relationship and the fact that this is the first State Visit of Their Majesties reign. The atmosphere in which this has been planned is extraordinarily positive.
‘Their Majesties are very alive to the particular context of Ukraine at the moment which is obviously one of the challenges we are facing together in Europe.’
At the airport today the King and Queen Consort were greeted by a twenty-one gun salute and a fly-past to mark the start of their State Visit.
The couple paused at the top of the plane steps to receive the salute as two military jets carried out a fly past.
As they descended the King and Queen Consort were greeted by State Secretary Dörte Dinger; the Chief of German Protocol at the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Till Knorn; and the British Ambassador to Germany, Jill Gallard.
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla walk along the red carpet at Berlin Brandenburg Airport after arriving at 2pm local time
Charles and Camilla exchanged a few words after they descended down the steps of the aircraft
In a beautifully personal detail, Camilla was sporting a brooch that belonged to Queen Elizabeth, given to the late monarch by Queen Mary on her confirmation in 1942
Charles and Camilla looked relaxed as they worked their way along the line of dignitaries
In a unique gesture of honour, two German fighter jets accompanied the King and Queen Consort’s RAF Voyager plane when it entered German airspace
Their Majesties walked along a red carpet lined by a Guard of Honour, provided by the Federal Defence Forces of Germany before being introduced by the the Chief of Protocol to Miguel Berger, German Ambassador to the UK, Major General Wolfgang Gäbelein, Director of the Bundeswehr, Mrs. Andrea Kundrus, Protocol Officer for the State Visit, and Mrs. Zsófia Liptak-Jeken, Protocol Officer for the State Visit.
The visit has been designed to celebrate Britain’s relationship with Germany, marking its shared history, culture and values with the UK.
It will also provide an opportunity to demonstrate the many ways the United Kingdom is working in partnership with Germany on issues including climate change and the conflict in Ukraine, as well as develop opportunities in trade and investment and arts and culture.
There will be a significant number of engagements emphasising the United Kingdom’s bilateral relationship with Germany and, no doubt to the king’s delight, highlighting the importance of sustainability and community.
The Queen Consort sported a colourful turquoise coat and dress by Bruce Oldfield and a jaunty hat by Philip Treacy
The royal couple moments before stepping out of the aircraft to be greeted by an honour guard
At the airport today the King and Queen Consort were greeted by a twenty-one gun salute and a fly-past to mark the start of their State Visit
Today, Charles and Camilla put out a statement sharing their excitement about the visit
Amid brilliant blue skies, one flew on each side of the royal aircraft for around 20 minutes
Another view of the spectacular moment – which happened as the RAF Voyager entered German airspace
The British government’s liveried Voyager plane – with Charles and Camilla inside – touches down on the runway in Berlin
Camilla and Charles are seen through the window of their official car as they drove off from the airport
The Queen Consort waves to crowds and she leaves Berlin Brandenburg Airport with her husband
The King steps into his car for the drive into the centre of Berlin
The Royal Air Force plane had the German national flag and the Royal Standard flying out of the pilot’s window
An honour guard waits on the runway in Berlin for the King and Queen Consort to leave the aircraft
A large group of police motorcyclists prepares to accompany the royal motorcade
Buckingham Palace said the King and Queen Consort would also ‘reflect on the sacrifices and challenges of our shared past, out of which has come an enduring legacy of cooperation and reconciliation.’
This is the King’s 29th official visit to Germany. Her Majesty has undertaken three official visits, the last in 2020.
At a banquet at the Bellevue Palace – the president’s official residence – Charles is expected to make a speech in both English and German.
Charles will also meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz, talk to Ukrainian refugees and meet with British and German military personnel who are working together on joint projects.
It is the first joint battalion between the countries for more than two centuries and was reinstituted 18 months ago.
Members of a German honor guard march past the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin as they rehearse for the couple’s arrival
Thirty-nine year old Ewa from Berlin holds a Union Jack flag with a picture of Queen Elizabeth II
Members of German Armed Forces practice the hoisting of the Union Jack ahead of Charles’ arrival
A police sharp shooter stands atop a building overlooking the Brandenburg Gate
A man fastens the red carpet in front of the Brandenburg Gate as the city prepared to welcomed Charles and Camilla
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