King Charles III arrives in Germany for first overseas visit as monarch

Mar 29, 2023, 5:08 PM

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his wife Elke Budenbender, and Britain's King Charles III...

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his wife Elke Budenbender, and Britain's King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort attend a welcome ceremony in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, March 29. (Annegret Hilse/Reuters via CNN)

(Annegret Hilse/Reuters via CNN)

(CNN) — King Charles III arrived in Germany with the Queen Consort on Wednesday for his first overseas state visit as monarch, after the first part of the trip to France was postponed.

Landing at Berlin Brandenburg Airport on Wednesday afternoon local time for the start of their three-day visit, they were welcomed with a gun salute as two military jets carried out a fly past. German officials greeted the King and Queen Consort when they stepped off the plane.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort arrive at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Germany, on Wednesday. (Maja Hitij/Getty Images via CNN)

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Elke Budenbender, rolled out the red carpet for the visiting monarch. They greeted Charles and Camilla at Pariser Platz with a full ceremonial welcome.

It’s the first time a head of state has been officially welcomed at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate rather than at Schloss Bellevue, the official residence of the German president. As the royals stepped out of the car, the crowd cheered, with supporters eagerly waving German and Union Jack flags above their heads.

From left, the German flag, the Union Jack flag and the European Union flag fly in front of the Brandenburg Gate on the eve of King Charles’ visit to Germany. (Markus Schreiber/AP via CNN)

The national anthems of both nations played, after which the King, accompanied by the president, inspected the honor guard before delighting crowds by making their way over to greet members of the public.

Camilla — wearing a turquoise dress and coat with a hat by Irish milliner Philip Treacy — and accompanied by Budenbender, did the same on the other side of Pariser Platz.

There was a noticeable security presence in central Berlin, with around 900 police officers deployed Wednesday, according to CNN’s German affiliate n-tv.

A warm welcome

Crowds gathered at Brandenburg Gate were made up of general public, school groups, members of the Royal British Legion, as well as British Embassy employees and their families.

Among them was Alexander Woskanjan, from Berlin. The 35-year-old told CNN that he was happy Charles’ first foreign trip of his reign was to Germany.

“After the Second World War, we couldn’t wish that the first destination … [would be] Germany. And now, so many things have normalized and both armies are working together.” Woskanjan added: “It’s good, good vibes. And I think that the [German] President Frank-Walter Steinmeier really will be smiling all the time.”

For 59-year-old Christophe, who didn’t give his surname, this wasn’t his first royal event. Having been a fan of the British monarchy for two decades, he visited London last year for the late Queen’s state funeral and platinum jubilee celebrations. He told CNN he’d traveled from Hamburg to welcome the King to Berlin on Wednesday.

“I’m really hoping that [the visit] will heal the wounds that Brexit has done to the European countries,” he said. “I hope it will strengthen the relationship between Germany and the United Kingdom.”

And Jürg, 51, was one of the lucky few in the crowd to get a few moments to speak with the King. He told CNN: “The King was one of the first people ever talking about pollution and climate change and things like that … I think maybe he’s the right person for this moment to be King.”

The royal couple later traveled to the presidential palace for a state banquet.

Steinmeier described the royal visit as “both a great pleasure and a great honor” in a speech during the banquet.

Noting that King Charles’s state visit comes six years to the day since the U.K. alerted the EU to its intention to leave the bloc, the German statesman said that “back then many feared that Brexit could make the Germans and the British drift apart. However, that did not happen.”

He added: “Too strong are the ties between our countries, too close the friendships between our people, too precious the reconciliation efforts after two World Wars.”

Making his own speech in a combination of German and English moments later, the King also praised the ties between the UK and Germany, and highlighted how the two nations “stand together with Ukraine in defense of freedom and sovereignty in the face of unprovoked aggression.”

King Charles added: “In this regard, I did want to pay a particular tribute to Germany’s extraordinary hospitality in hosting over one million Ukrainian refugees. This, it seems to me, so powerfully demonstrates the generosity of spirit of the German people.”

He also said the relationship “mattered greatly to my mother” and offered his thanks for messages of support following her death last year.

Before arriving in Germany, King Charles and Camilla said in a statement that they were “very much looking forward to meeting all of those who make this country so special.”

They added: “It is a great joy to be able to continue the deepening of the longstanding friendship between our two nations.”

The trip should have started on Sunday in France but the first leg was scrapped amid strikes and civil unrest in the country over President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. The French leader said Friday his government would have lacked “common sense” to proceed amid the protests, before suggesting the trip could be rescheduled for the beginning of summer.

On Thursday, Charles will address the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament. He’ll then meet some Ukrainian refugees who have sought sanctuary in Germany from the Russian invasion back home.

The following day, the King and Queen Consort will travel to Hamburg, where they will visit St. Nikolai Memorial, a church that was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II. While there, the King and German president will lay wreaths as part of a short remembrance ceremony.

Despite the delayed start, the trip’s goals remain the same. Traveling at the request of the British government and following an invitation from the German president, the King will be hoping to renew and strengthen ties after Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“It is also a chance to look forwards and show the many ways our countries are working in partnership, whether that be to tackle climate change; respond to the conflict in Ukraine; seize trade and investment opportunities or share the best of our arts and culture,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement announcing the state visit earlier this month.

Charles last visited Germany as Prince of Wales in 2020 to mark the country’s National Day of Mourning for victims of war.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

World News

A boy leads a band through a community near Manila, Philippines....

Dan Rascon

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bring water to Filipino community

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped to build new water tanks for a small Filipino community that was in desperate need.

8 hours ago

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue gather after homes were evacuated when a suspected Secon...

Pan Pylas

A World War II bomb prompted an evacuation in England before being taken to sea to be blown up

An unexploded World War II bomb has been safely transported through the eerily empty streets of the southwestern English port city of Plymouth.

15 hours ago

This image released by the U.S. Department of Justice in an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Co...

Denise Lavoie and Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

4 charged in transporting suspected Iranian-made weapons. Two SEALs died in intercepting the ship

Four foreign nationals have been charged with transporting suspected Iranian-made weapons after U.S. naval forces interdicted a vessel in the Arabian Sea last month.

1 day ago

A group of young Filipino girls are excited...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir arrives in Philippines to continue ‘Hope’ world tour

There was celebration, music and dancing as the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square arrived in the Philippines to kick of the second segment of its Hope world tour.

2 days ago

The Bates family sold their Utah house, quit their jobs and left family and friends to move to Mexi...

Tamara Vaifanua

Utah family opens school for teens in Mexico

A Utah family who volunteered at orphanages in Mexico has moved there permanently to open a school of their own.

4 days ago

Demonstrators hold banners outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. W...

Jill Lawless

WikiLeaks founder Assange faces his last legal roll of the dice in Britain to avoid US extradition

Julian Assange’s lawyers have begun their final U.K. legal challenge to stop the WikiLeaks founder from being sent to the United States to face spying charges.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

King Charles III arrives in Germany for first overseas visit as monarch