In a historic moment both for Britain and for Germany, the plane that will be carrying Her Majesty The Queen to Berlin on her upcoming State Visit to the country will be accompanied by the German Luftwaffe. As a mark of respect to visiting dignitaries, three Eurofighters will shadow The Queen’s aircraft when it enters German airspace.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s State Visit to Germany begins on Tuesday 23rd June and the royal couple will be travelling to Germany at the invitation of President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck. Their visit will see The Queen and Prince Philip visit Frankfurt where they will visit St Paul’s Church, which is considered to have
played an important role in the birth of parliamentary democracy in Germany. Her Majesty and Prince Philip will also meet with the Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin after travelling by boat on the River Spree.
As well as accompanying The Queen on her flight, the German Luftwaffe will also perform a fly-past for the royal party as they step on to the tarmac in Berlin. The three Eurofighters will accompany The Queen’s flight owing to the fact that Germany is one of the four Eurofighter Typhoon partner nations alongside the UK, Italy and Spain.
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force but is more commonly remembered as the term used for the Nazi Air Force, founded in 1935. By the commencement of World War Two, the Luftwaffe was the largest and most powerful air force in Europe and was led by Hermann Goering. During the Second World War, the Luftwaffe was the most technologically advanced air forces in the world and took part in some of the conflicts greatest atrocities including success in the Battle of France, causing severe damage to the Royal Air Force’s infrastructure during the Battle of Britain and most famously causing substantial damage and loss of life during the subsequent Blitz on various British cities.
During their visit to Germany, one of the most historic visits The Queen and Prince Philip will make will be to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The camp is now a permanent memorial to those who died at the hands of the Nazis as well as those who were liberated by the British some 70 years ago. During their time at Bergen-Belsen, Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh will pay their respects to teenage writer Anne Frank and her sister Margot, who died at the camp just months before it was liberated. During the visit, The Queen will meet a group of survivors and liberators as well as representatives of the Jewish and Christian communities.
The Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to Germany will conclude on Friday 26th June with their last Stat Visit to the country having been in 2004.
Photo Credit: Gerard van der Schaaf
Featured Photo Credit: The Commonwealth