On Thursday, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall kicked off their third day of engagements in Germany, as part of the couple is on a four-day visit to the country to highlight key themes in the international relationship between the UK and Germany, as well as their shared history and cultural connections.
To start the day, Prince Charles headed to Barenboim-Said Akademie. The future King was there to meet students who are on a music course, taught in English. The BSA teaches mostly those talented in the field from the Middle East and North Africa.
Charles was treated to a performance and got to meet the students whose English has been improved by British Council training.
He then joined his wife, Camilla, to visit a women’s refugee project at the International Rescue Committee’s base at the Impact Hub in Berlin, following on from their first day in the capital. The project is managed by the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid organisation and Jobs4refugees.
The Berlin office of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was established in 2016 to assist with the integration of newly-arrived refugees in Germany.
The IRC works closely with Jobs4refugees, a charitable organisation that coaches both refugees and employers to help meet challenges such as language barriers and problems with the recognition of international qualifications. The IRC and Jobs4refugees have also launched a project to help refugee women fill vacancies in the German healthcare system.
During the visit, one of the participants of the meeting presented the Duchess with a knitted white scarf and blue and red scarf for Archie, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son. The gifts were given to Camilla in a yellow bag with a star on it, and the participant revealed to Camilla that she had knitted the scarves herself.
On the visit to the International Rescue Committee’s base, Prince Charles and Camilla also met with beneficiaries of the Jobs4refugees scheme. Speaking to the beneficiaries, the Prince expressed his sadness that they had to leave Syria, their home country, and find work in Germany, adding that: “I’ve always wanted to go to Syria but I’ve never been able to. I can’t bear the war and destruction.”
It was then on to Munich for the royal couple for the second leg of their tour.
Attending an official welcome ceremony at Max-Joseph Platz in Munich, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were greeted by Dr Markus Soder, Minister President of Bavaria, and his wife, Karin Baumueller-Soder, as well as a guard, made up of local mountain riflemen. The guard was inspected by Their Royal Highnesses before a three-gun salute was given.
Grüß Gott aus München!
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Then, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall made their way into the Garden Hall at the Munich Residenz, where the couple signed the state’s golden book and were given a pair of baby Lederhosen for their newborn grandson by the Minister-President Markus Soder. Talking about the gift, the Prince said: “Thank you, I had some years ago.”
During a walkabout, the Prince and Duchess greeted many people that had dressed up traditionally for the occasion. Dirndls and lederhosen are the local dress for the Bavarian people, and is worn on special occasions, even to church for some communities.
In the afternoon, the royal couple visited the Hofbräuhaus beer hall in Munich. The Prince and Duchess of Cornwall toasted with a pint of beer and were served with traditional german snacks, such as hams and bread.
The Hofbräuhaus (Royal Brewery House) was commissioned by the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V in 1589 to supply the Wittelsbacher court and its servants with locally brewed beer, thus cutting expenses for imported beer. In 1828, King Ludwig I opened the Hofbräuhaus to the Bavarian public. Today it is one of the world’s most famous taverns and Munich’s second largest tourist attraction.
— Josh Payne (@JoshPaynePA) May 9, 2019
Since 1980, the Hofbräuhaus has offered a weekly dance afternoon for the elderly with live musicians in the historic ballroom. Each Tuesday, over 150 elderly citizens take to the dance floor, which the Royals gladly did. Hans Klaindl and Margot Biccenger partnered with the Prince and Duchess.
Prince Charles paid a solo visit to Siemens to hear about the company’s architecture in its hometown, and the building’s sustainable technology. There was also a focus on the British branches of the company, including renewable energy production and how Siemens UK trains its workforce.
Founded in 1847, Siemens has its headquarters in central Munich. The company’s global strategy focusses on three key areas: Future Infrastructure, Sustainable Energy and the Future of Manufacturing. Siemens has a longstanding relationship between Germany and the UK and all three of these global strategies are represented in the UK.
In the evening, Prince Charles and Camilla attended a State Dinner at the Residenz at Max-Joseph-Platz, hosted by Christian Social Union party leader and Minister President of Bavaria Markus Soeder and his wife.
Charles gave a brief toast in which he said: “My wife and I are so very pleased to be with all of you this evening, in this beautiful setting, and I can only say how grateful we are to you, Minister-President, for your marvellous hospitality.
“Our visit to Germany this week has been an occasion to celebrate the myriad connections between our two countries and the countless partnerships between our people, which make the most profound difference to both of our economies and our societies.
“Bavaria, it seems to me, exemplifies so much of what makes Germany as special as it is, and such a vital and valued partner for the United Kingdom. After all, Bavaria is a place that cherishes its rich cultural traditions whilst embracing the future and leading the way in so many areas.
“For my part, my own familial links to Cobourg, through my Great Great Great Grandfather, Prince Albert, whose bicentenary we celebrate this year, give me a particular sense of connection to Bavaria and deep pride in all the things that the people of Bavaria and the people of the United Kingdom achieve together.”
Read the full speech here.