Today, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Berlin and were greeted by a Guard of Honour from the Federal Defence Forces of Germany.
From the airport, Their Royal Highnesses went to the Federal Chancellery to meet Her Excellency Angela Merkel for a private meeting. The Prince last met Chancellor Merkel in July 2018 during a reception to conclude the Western Balkans Summit at St James’ Palace.
Next, The Duchess visited the Outpatient Clinic for the Protection Against Violence, which has provided support to more than 2,500 victims of violence since its opening in 2014. One of the main services the Outpatient Clinic provides is the examination of injuries sustained by victims. Injuries are documented and forensic evidence is gathered, stored on site and can be used at any point in the future. Having undertaken a tour of one of the consultation rooms, Her Royal Highness joined a discussion with staff and representatives from partner organisations.
Meanwhile, The Prince visited the Schloss Bellevue for a private meeting with the President, His Excellency Mr. Frank Walter Steinmeier. His Royal Highness most recently met President Steinmeier in November 2018 during Remembrance Sunday events in London.
Following this, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Berlin Airlift Memorial with the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin airlift, with official ceremonies taking place in Berlin on Sunday 12th May. After His Royal Highness had laid a wreath, The Prince and The Duchess were introduced to Defence Attachés representing the nations involved in the Berlin Airlift.
Their Royal Highnesses then walked through the Brandenburg Gate, beginning on its west side and moving through to the east side. The neo-classical Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s only surviving city gate and its most famous landmark. The gate was built in the late 1700s on the orders of King Frederick William II of Prussia and during the Cold War, access to the Gate was restricted for both East and West Germans. Some 100,000 people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to witness its re-opening on 22 December 1989, when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl walked through it to meet East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow. The gate is now widely considered to be a symbol of German Unification. The Mayor provided The Prince and The Duchess with a brief overview of this history and its importance to the city, before Their Royal Highnesses had the opportunity to meet members of the public.
In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses attended The Queen’s Birthday Party, an annual celebration hosted by the British Ambassador, at the Ambassador’s Residence. A British Forces Germany piper played to mark The Prince and The Duchess’ arrival, before Their Royal Highnesses signed the visitors’ book and proceeded outside to the terrace. Addressing the assembled guests, The Prince said:
"The people of Britain have enjoyed the most profound connections with the people of Germany, and indeed the wider European continent, for thousands of years. We have long been fascinated by each other - admiring of each other's literature and music, inspired by each other's ideas, and dependent upon each other's economies for the trade that enhances our shared prosperity."
Today, we are so much more than simply neighbours: we are friends and natural partners, bound together by our common experience, mutual interests and shared values, and deeply invested in each other's futures.
Read The Prince of Wales’s speech in full here.