(MENAFN) King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrived in Berlin on Wednesday for their first overseas state visit. The royal couple was received with military honors by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at the capital's landmark Brandenburg Gate. The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people who lined up at the historic center of the city, carrying German and British flags. Charles shook hands and had short conversations with crowds standing behind the barricades, and many people took photographs of the rare encounter.
Later in the evening, Steinmeier hosted a state banquet at Bellevue Palace in honor of the royal guests. In his speech, Steinmeier underlined the importance of the close ties between the two countries, particularly in the face of new challenges in Europe and Russia's war on Ukraine. He stressed that the German-British friendship would remain significant and firm, no matter what lies ahead. Steinmeier also noted that Germany and the UK, along with their Western partners, would continue their support for Ukraine, and they would meet with the German-British Battalion in Brandenburg and visit an arrival center for Ukrainian refugees in Tegel.
The royal visit comes at a time when the UK and the EU are seeking closer ties, three years after Britain's exit from the bloc. The state visit of King Charles and Queen Camilla is seen by many as a rapprochement with Europe and Germany after the alienation caused by Brexit, according to German public broadcaster ARD. During the three-day visit, King Charles will meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and is scheduled to give a speech to the members of the German parliament on Thursday. He will be the first British monarch to address the Bundestag, and the parliament will suspend its regular session for the special event.
Overall, the visit is a significant step towards strengthening the relationship between Germany and the UK, particularly in the face of current challenges in Europe. The royal couple's visit is expected to provide a symbolic boost to the relationship, particularly as the EU and the UK seek to improve their ties. The visit is also an opportunity for King Charles to engage with German leaders and highlight the importance of continued cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
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