King Charles III and Queen Camilla have just completed the first State Visit of the new reign, and royal correspondent, Netty Leistra, was among those covering this historic trip. She was in Hamburg as it came to an end.
After a moving morning at the Kinderstransport memorial, it was time to continue the trip. By public transport and on foot, I just won the race against the British and German media to arrive at the Dockland (Fischereihafen). Another wait at the waterfront, where it was rather cold, but at least the rain was easing.
I had honestly almost totally forgotten that The King would come alone with the German president. So after His Majesty left the car and kept on waiting for President Steinmeier, I actually half expected The Queen to arrive in the other car. The Queen, however, was visiting the Rudolf Ross Primary School. It’s amazing what the speed of these engagements can do.
The King and the President slowly walked to the waiting boat, called Hamburg, very much involved in what seemed to be an interesting conversation. It was interesting to see the rapport between them.
The boat tour through the harbour took nearly one hour. The King was informed about the decarbonisation of the maritime economy and the promotion of renewable energies and hydrogen technology, as well as the environmentally and climate-friendly transformation of the industry.
While most of the British media could come along, the other media representatives were waiting for the return on the quay. Nearly everybody had his/her photo taken with the royal Bentley – one of two made for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. To our joy, Queen Camilla came to the harbour, if only to switch cars. At least it gave the media the opportunity to have a last glimpse of her. By the time the boat returned, the rain had finally stopped. While The Queen waited in the car, The King and his entourage returned. He shook hands with the president and then also quickly went into the car.
After one last reception at Schuppen 52 in Hamburg, the three-day state visit of King Charles III and Queen Camilla to Germany came to an end. From what I saw, the state visit was an enormous success.
Even if I don’t believe Germany will ever become a monarchy again, Germany celebrated their British royal guests for three days.
While only around 8 per cent of the Germans is in favour of a monarchy, one could see that the audience didn’t only exist of old, but also of rather young people. Apart from meeting the authorities of the country, Their Majesties focused on themes like refugees, World War II, organic food and the environment.
What I personally enjoyed most was that everywhere – despite the weather – they took time for the people waiting for them, which was indeed very much appreciated. Hopefully, they’ll return for another visit one day.
Netty Leistra is a renowned reporter and correspondent and has covered royalty and royal history for over twenty years. She writes extensively for European media and is the editor at Netty Royal and On Royal Tour with Netty.