Berlin, March 29 (AFP/APP): Britain’s Charles III will travel to Germany on Wednesday for his first state visit as king, with the trip billed as “an important European gesture” to maintain strong ties after Brexit.
The British Union Jack was flapping alongside the German and European Union flags along Berlin’s central Unter den Linden avenue, which leads to the Brandenburg Gate, where Charles will receive a formal welcome.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German first lady Elke Buedenbender will greet Charles and Queen Consort Camilla with military honours at the landmark, the first time it has provided a backdrop for receiving a state guest.
Dozens of police were milling around the gate in the morning, ahead of the king’s arrival later in the day.
During his three-day visit, Charles will become the first monarch to address the German parliament, with a speech on Thursday, before travelling to the port city of Hamburg on Friday.
The decision to call on close neighbours first is widely seen as an attempt to build post-Brexit bridges, with Steinmeier calling it “an important European gesture”.
The choice of Berlin for Charles’s first visit, after a planned trip to Paris was postponed, showed Germany was a “key partner” for Britain as it sought to reset its relations with the EU, daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote.
The German public will get a chance to come face-to-face with the royal couple at the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday, although with space for only around 1,500 spectators, well-wishers have been advised to turn up early.
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