The King stood shoulder to shoulder with Germany’s President in a symbol of reconciliation as they laid wreaths in remembrance of the victims of war.
In the ruins of a bombed out Hamburg church, destroyed like much of the city by Second World War Allied raids, the King and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stood motionless after leaving floral tributes.
St Nikolai Memorial Church’s towering spire was a landmark used by bomber crews as they targeted the city port 80 years ago and has now become a monument against war.
Sheltering under umbrellas from the heavy rain, Charles and the Queen Consort went on a brief walkabout when they first arrived, meeting well-wishers who had gathered in the grounds of the ruined place of worship.
Coventry Cathedral was also left a shattered ruin after a Second World War bombing raid by the Nazis and Lutheran Bishop Kirsten Fehrs read the famous Coventry Litany of Reconciliation.
Before reading the poignant words, she told those gathered that “at this special place of remembrance”, where 80 years ago the church was destroyed by bombs, “we stand in solidarity with people throughout the world who strive for reconciliation in the face of violence and war; (we are) deeply grateful for this moment of unity.
“Let us set an example for understanding peace with the deeply moving and unifying Coventry Litany of Reconciliation.”
Reading from the Litany, she criticised “the hatred which divides nations from nation, race from race, class from class.
“The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own.”
Floral wreaths from the King, the President, and the Mayor of Hamburg Peter Tschentscher were already lying in place as the three men stepped forward to symbolically touch them, before taking a step back for a moment of silent contemplation.
The King’s wreath of poppies featured a handwritten card with the poignant message: “In everlasting remembrance” with the same words in German below and the signature “Charles R”.
Camilla left her own tribute a single white rose and was dressed in an Anna Valentine coat and dress and a Queen Victoria brooch – a wedding gift from Prince Albert.
Code named Operation Gomorrah, after the biblical city destroyed by god with fire and brimstone, the Allied bombing campaign saw Hamburg subject to raids over eight days and seven nights in July 1943, killing 40,000 people.
Earlier Charles and Camilla remembered the thousands of children rescued from Hitler’s Nazi regime when the Queen Consort laid a rose at the “Kindertransport – the Final Parting” memorial statue.
On the last day of their historic state visit, the couple had taken the train from Berlin to Hamburg and travelled the short distance to the monument, which recognises the children transported to safety, including 10,000 sent to the UK.
The King ended his state visit to Germany with a pint as he celebrated UK ties with the country.
Charles and Camilla met hundreds of guests in a huge dockside building where Germany’s big Eurovision hope played for hundreds.
Lord of the Lost, an industrial metal band from Hamburg, formed by singer and frontman Chris Harms, will represent Germany with the song Blood & Glitter.
The King shook hands with the group who sported a classic glamrock look, with mohican haircuts, tattoos and make-up and body paint.
Around 1,200 guests, from business leaders who invest in UK charities to British companies selling produce in Germany, were invited and they watched as the King pulled and sipped a pint when he toured some of the food and drink stalls.
Hamburg has a strong association with The Beatles, who cut their performing teeth in the city during the early 1960s, and covers band Silver Spoons played the group’s song I Saw Her Standing There for the royals.