KING Charles today marked the late Queen’s “pivotal” role in reconciling the UK and Germany during his speech in Berlin.
The King became the first member of the British royal family to make a speech to a live session of the German parliament on Thursday.
He said Britain’s “friendship” with Germany “meant so much to my beloved Mother, the late Queen, who often spoke of the 15 official visits she made to Germany” following the Second World War.
The first of the Queen’s state visits came in 1967 “when our continent was still deeply scarred by war and the trauma of conflict,” he said.
He added: “Hers was the wartime generation, and like my father, The Queen had served in uniform.
“That my parents’ 11-day tour of Germany should prove to be a pivotal moment in the reconciliation between our nations was, therefore, a matter of great personal significance to them both.”
He added: “My Mother understood the immense achievement that reconciliation represented, and in returning to Germany time and again, she was determined to play her own part.
“It is, perhaps, for this reason that Her late Majesty won a particular place in the affection of the German people.”
SPOKE IN GERMAN
Charles switched seamlessly between English and German inside the Reichstag, earning him a standing ovation.
He said in German: “Germany is the only nation in the world with which the UK is such a joint unit.”
Of the Ukraine war, the King said “countless lives have been destroyed”.
He added: “The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has inflicted the most unimaginable suffering on so many innocent people.
“Countless lives have been destroyed, freedom and human dignity have been trampled in the most brutal way [and] the security of Europe has been threatened”.
During lighter moments the parliament chuckled as King Charles praised Germany’s nightlife.
He got another laugh when he said: “Over the last 50 years we have laughed both at each other and with each other.”
TOUR OF MARKET
Earlier on Thursday, President Steinmeier and Franziska Giffey, Mayor of Berlin, took Charles, 74, and Camilla, 75, on a guided tour of Wittenbergplatz Food Market in Berlin.
They visited an organic fruit and vegetable stand, honey stall and a butcher’s stand that specialises in regionally sourced meat.
Charles seemed particularly enamoured with a bottle of apple juice, and the royal couple accepted colourful bouquets of flowers from sellers.
They chatted with a cheese seller, fishmonger, baker and florist.
At the German parliament the King and Queen Consort were greeted by Barbel Bas, the President of the German Bundestag, and viewed the first volume of the Bundestag’s Golden Book, which was signed by Her Late Majesty The Queen.
On Wednesday, Charles and the Queen Consort landed at Berlin Brandenburg Airport at around 1pm.
Their plane, which left from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, was escorted by German fighter jets.
They were greeted by a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by two fighter jets.
Releasing a joint statement on Twitter, the royals said they were hoping to develop the “longstanding friendship between our two nations”.
It read: “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.
“It is a great joy to be able to continue the deepening of the longstanding friendship between our two nations.”
Yesterday, they met with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and wife Elke Budenbender, and went to their residence at Bellevue Palace.
The tour was due to start on Sunday with a quick flight to France.
However, it was quickly shelved after rioters took over the streets in 50 areas.
The anti-government marches were staged after President Emmanuel Macron raised the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Civil unrest in the country forced Macron to ask the British Government if they could postpone the King’s four-day visit.
Sylvie Bermann, who served as Paris’s ambassador to Britain between 2014 and 2017, said Macron wanted the visit to go ahead “until the last minute”.
She added that a planned state banquet at the Palace of Versailles for Charles and Camilla would “not have given a good image”.
Lord Ricketts, a former national security adviser, said the lavish Versailles dinner would have had “echoes” of the French revolution if it was allowed to go ahead.
Charles’ first state visit as King comes at the same time son Harry is battling a case against publisher Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL).
The Duke of Sussex, 38, is currently in London over allegations the ANL unlawfully gathered information – which have been strongly denied.
The royal was at the High Court on Monday and Tuesday but did not shown up for the third day.
The hearing is expected to end today.
And it’s been reported he was told Charles is “too busy” to see him.
It is the first time the Prince is back on home soil since the Queen’s funeral last September.
Despite his six-month absence, it’s understood a trip to see the King and brother William will not be on the cards.