The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Berlin Tegel Airport on Tuesday, starting their four-day visit to Germany. The visit is aimed to highlight key themes in the UK-Germany relationship, as well as shared history and cultural connections.
Upon their arrival, Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by a Guard of Honour and Sir Sebastian Wood, British ambassador to Germany, accompanied by his wife Lady Caroline Wood.
The royal couple started their busy day of engagements with a private meeting with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, taking place at the Federal Chancellery, which was opened in 2001 to house the personal office of the Chancellor and her staff.
Prince Charles had previously met Angela Merkel in July 2018 during a reception to conclude the Western Balkans Summit at St James’s Palace.
After the meeting, Camilla visited the Outpatient Clinic for the Protection Against Violence. The clinic was opened in 2014 with the financial support of the Berlin senate and in its first four years, the organisation has provided support to more than 2,500 victims of violence.
One of the main services the clinic provides is the examination of victim’s injuries, which are documented and forensic evidence is gathered, stored on site and can be used at any point in the future, as the victim decides if, and when, to file a complaint with the police.
Yesterday, The Duchess visited the Outpatient Clinic for the Protection against Violence, a service that helps those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) May 8, 2019
During her visit, The Duchess of Cornwall said to members of the staff: “You give them (the victims) a voice. I know you’re doing a wonderful job here… they’ve been silent for too long.”
Camilla is well-known for her hard work and commitment in supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the UK and overseas, regularly visiting support centres and holding round table events at Clarence House to bring together important groups of national stakeholders and key decision-makers.
At the end of the visit, Camilla received an onesie and a balloon as gifts for her newborn step-grandchild, the son of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. About the presents, the Duchess said that: “As soon as we return I will deliver it to them, direct from Germany, I’m sure they will be thrilled.”
#New The Duchess of Cornwall visited an outpatient clinic for victims of domestic violence in Berlin. There, Camilla was given an onesie and a balloon for baby Sussex. She said: “As soon as we return I will deliver it to them, direct from Germany, I’m sure they will be thrilled.” pic.twitter.com/k7UC87CuV9
— The Duchess of Cornwall Blog (@hrhcamillablog) May 7, 2019
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla also had a meeting with the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at Schloss Bellevue. The palace was built by Prince Ferdinand of Prussia in 1785 and sits on the edge of the Tiergarten, surrounded by a park bordering the River Spree.
Before starting the meeting, Mr Steinmeier gifted The Prince of Wales a teddy bear wearing a blue outfit. He said: “First of all, let me congratulate you.” The Prince most recently met the President in November 2018 during the Remembrance Sunday events in London.
The royal couple, accompanied by the Mayor of Berlin Mike Mueller, also visited the Berlin Airlift Memorial. The VIPS were introduced to Defence Attachés representing the nations involved in the Berlin Airlift: the USA, Australia, Canada, France, South Africa and New Zealand.
After that, Prince Charles laid a wreath at the memorial.
The Berlin Airlift Memorial honours the Allied forces who flew provisions into Germany during the Berlin blockade imposed by the Soviet Union in 1948.
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) May 7, 2019
In response to the Berlin Blockade imposed by the Soviet Union in 1948, American, British and French cargo planes, supported by personnel from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, ferried provisions to the German people. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin airlift, with official ceremonies taking place in Berlin on Sunday 12th May.
To end the day of engagements, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall walked through the Brandenburg Gate, beginning on its west side and moving through to the east side. The Mayor of Berlin gave the Prince and the Duchess a brief overview of the gate’s history and its importance to the city.
The gate is Berlin’s only surviving city gate and its most famous landmark, located at the western edge of Pariser Platz. Consisting of six columns on each side, forming five passageways, the gate was built in the late 1700s on the orders of King Frederick William II of Prussia. Both the Gate and the buildings on Pariser Platz suffered significant damage in the Second World War, with the Germans even erecting fake gates in the city to fool Allied aircraft of their location.
Following the walk, the future King and Queen Consort had the opportunity to meet members of the public. One well-wisher shouted: “Congratulations, grandfather” as Prince Charles responded: “We couldn’t be more delighted at the news and we’re looking forward to meeting the baby when we return.” Another well-wisher said: “Congratulations on the new baby” and the Prince replied: “You’re all very kind.”
In the evening, the Royals attended a birthday party for The Queen, which is celebrated annually by the British Ambassador at his Residence.
A British Forces German piper played to mark the Royals’ arrival, when they they met the Ambassador, Sir Sebastian Wood, and his wife, Lady Wood. Following the welcome, Prince Charles and Camilla signed the visitors’ book before proceeding outside to the terrace to meet assembled guests.
During his speech, The Prince of Wales said: “Our countries and our people have been through so much together. As we look towards the future, I can only hope that we can also pledge to redouble our commitment to each other and to the ties between us.”
At the party, local delicacies were served, including asparagus salad and lavender sheep’s cheese, as well as Welsh lamb in a tribute to the royal guests. The event was also plastic free, which will have gladdened the Prince.