Charles and Camilla touch down in Germany at start of first state visit
The King and Queen Consort have arrived in Germany for the start of their first state visit – a three-day tour of one of the EU’s leading nations.
Charles and Camilla said in a joint statement, released on their official Twitter account, it was a “great joy” to be able to develop the “longstanding friendship between our two nations”.
The couple were greeted by a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by two fighter jets after they emerged from the ministerial plane Voyager and paused at the top of the steps.
As a mark of respect two Typhoon jets escorted the plane carrying the King and Queen Consort, their entourage and a large number of media for a period as it approached Berlin-Brandenburg Government Airport.
The trip has been overshadowed by the postponement of the French leg of the European tour, which was shelved by President Emmanuel Macron last Friday after violent nationwide protests against the French leader’s retirement age reforms.
The decision was made amid reports the King may have been targeted during further demonstrations planned by protesters to coincide with 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,” the King and his wife said in their joint statement.
“It is a great joy to be able to continue the deepening of the longstanding friendship between our two nations.”
Waiting at the bottom of Voyager’s steps to welcome the monarch and his wife was a line of dignitaries including the British Ambassador to Germany, Jill Gallard, and the State Secretary Dorte Dinger.
A guard of honour lined the red carpet walked by the couple who made their way to a waiting motorcade which took them to the German capital.
Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate will be the backdrop for Charles and Camilla’s official welcome to Germany, the first time the location has been used to welcome any visiting head of state.
In the evening a state banquet will be staged in the King’s honour by German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and reports claim some of Charles’ German cousins have been invited.
Among a string of Charles’ German relatives is Prince Donatus of Hesse who dined with the late Queen when she visited Frankfurt during a 2015 state visit with the Duke of Edinburgh.