King and Queen put French fiasco behind them and arrive in Germany for first state visit of reign
The King and Queen Consort have been welcomed to Germany for the start of the first state visit of their reign.
Charles and Camilla landed at Berlin Brandenburg Airport on Wednesday afternoon and were greeted with a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by two fighter jets after they emerged from the ministerial plane Voyager.
Crowds of Royalists were also there to greet the couple, who were welcomed at the bottom of Voyager’s steps by a line of dignitaries including the British Ambassador to Germany, Jill Gallard, and the State Secretary Dorte Dinger.
A guard of honour lined the red carpet walked by the couple who made their way to a waiting motorcade which took them to the German capital, where they received a ceremonial welcome at the Brandenburg Gate.
In the shadow of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate - a national symbol of peace and unity - Germany’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and wife Elke Budenbender formally welcomed the King and Queen Consort.
The foursome posed for the waiting photographers with the famous landmark in the background before the national anthems of Germany and the UK were played.
The King inspected a guard of honour, accompanied by the president, before Charles, Camilla, the German statesman and his wife went on a brief walkabout meeting people waiting behind nearby crash barriers.
Charles and Camilla said in a joint statement, released on their official Twitter account, it was a “great joy” to be able to develop the “longstanding friendship between our two nations”.
It comes after the postponement of the French leg of the European tour, which was shelved by president Emmanuel Macron last Friday after violent nationwide protests against the French leader’s retirement age reforms.
The decision was made amid reports the King may have been targeted during further demonstrations planned by protestors to coincide with the visit.
“Ahead of our first state visit to Germany, we are very much looking forward to meeting all of those who make this country so special,” the King and his wife said in their earlier joint statement.
“It is a great joy to be able to continue the deepening of the longstanding friendship between our two nations.”
In the evening a state banquet will be staged in the King‘s honour by German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and reports claim some of Charles‘ German cousins have been invited.
Among a string of Charles‘ German relatives is Prince Donatus of Hesse who dined with the late Queen when she visited Frankfurt during a 2015 state visit with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Additional reporting by PA