The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall kicked off a royal visit to Germany yesterday, arriving in Berlin amidst the news that they’d become grandparents for the fourth time to the newborn Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in Berlin at the Berlin Tegel Airport to greetings from the Ambassador to Germany and the Chief of Protocol. An honour guard from the Federal Defence Forces of Germany was also present to welcome the royals.
Their first official engagement saw them meeting with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Prince Charles and Camilla met with Angela Merkel at the Federal Chancellery for a private meeting but posed with her outside for official photographs.
Before they went to their second engagement, they were able to meet well-wishers who had gathered along the route, many of whom were there to offer congratulations on the news that the Duchess of Sussex had delivered a son.
“We couldn’t be more delighted at the news,” Prince Charles told the crowd. “We’re looking forward to meeting the baby when we return.”
Prince Charles and Camilla then travelled to another meeting with the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at Schloss Bellevue. The royal couple again posed for official photographs before Prince Charles met with the German President privately.
Meanwhile, Camilla conducted an engagement on her own, when she visited the Outpatient Clinic for the Protection Against Violence. She met with the Clinic’s directors and was taken on a tour of the facility before joining in a discussion with the staff and the Clinic’s partners.
“You give [victims] a voice. I know you’re doing a wonderful job here,” Camilla told the staff, according to the Daily Mail. “They’ve been silent for too long.”
The Clinic was opened in 2014 and since then has supported over 2,500 violence survivors.
Camilla was given a balloon and a onesie for the new royal baby during her visit and told the staff that Harry and Meghan would be thrilled with it.
“As soon as we return, I will deliver it to them, direct from Germany. I’m sure they will be thrilled.”
Prince Charles and Camilla then visited the Berlin Airlift Memorial with the Mayor of Berlin and the UK Defence Attaché. Prince Charles laid a wreath and then the royal couple met with the Defence Attachés who helped with the Berlin Airlift: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, South Africa and the United States.
The Berlin Airlift took place almost 70 years ago, on 12 May. Per Clarence House, “In response to the Berlin blockade imposed by the Soviet Union in 1948, American, British and French cargo planes, supported by personnel from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, ferried provisions from Western Europe, through hubs in Western Germany. They flew into airfields in West Berlin; Tempelhof (American sector), Gatow (British sector) and Tegel (French sector).
“At its peak, planes landed every two minutes, bringing in total more than 2.5 million tonnes of supplies over 11 months.”
Prince Charles and Camilla then visited the Brandenburg Gate, where they met with well-wishers who again congratulated them on their newest grandson. The crowds shouted “Opa” at Prince Charles, which is the German word for grandfather.
Prince Charles responded to one well-wisher with, “Thank you, I’m collecting a rather large number of them.”
Again accompanied by the Mayor of Berlin, the royals toured the Gate, the only surviving city gate, which was built in the late 1700s. During the Cold War, use of the Gate was restricted for use by East Germany and West Germany; and it wasn’t until 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall that it was opened again.
Their final engagement of the day saw Prince Charles and Camilla attending The Queen’s Birthday Party at the British Ambassador’s Residence, which is an annual party hosted by the British Ambassador.
Prince Charles gave a speech on the friendship between the UK and Germany and the connections between the Royal Family and Germany, but before that, he spoke in German and offered best wishes on behalf of The Queen and his own thoughts on becoming a grandfather for the fourth time.
“It is, if I may say so, a great pleasure to be here with so many of you this evening – above all, to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen, who has asked me to convey her warmest greetings to you all.
“Of course, it is also a particular pleasure to be back in Berlin once again – especially as the grandfather of a brand-new grandson!”
Prince Charles continued, in German:
“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.
“Every year, two million British people visit Germany and three million Germans visit the U.K. Over two hundred thousand of our citizens live in each other’s countries.”
He spoke about the symbiotic relationship between the two countries:
“Ours is a relationship that is broad and wide-ranging because we need each other, but is deep and strong because of the mutual affection and profound respect between us.
“It is a relationship in transition. But whatever the shape of our future relationship, and whatever is negotiated and agreed between governments and institutions, it is more clear to me than it has ever been, that the bonds between us will, and must, endure – and that our young people, and future generations, will have as much cause to cherish those bonds as our generation has had.
“I can only say, for my own part, that my commitment to the relationship between Britain and Germany is both heartfelt and steadfast. I have long tried, in whatever small way I can, to foster the connections between us, whether through the military or through arts and culture; through my patronage of the Wörlitz Gardens in Sachsen-Anhalt, for example, which I am delighted to be visiting for the first time this week; or through the work of my Prince’s Foundation, in supporting projects such as the restoration of the remarkable 16th century timber courthouse in the town of Treffurt. All such initiatives, however big or small, or whoever is behind them, bring us together and keep us that way.”
Finally, Prince Charles said:
“Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, our countries and our people have been through so much together. As we look towards the future, I can only hope that we can also pledge to redouble our commitment to each other and to the ties between us.
“In so doing, we can ensure that our continent will never again see the division and conflict of the past; that together, we will continue to be an indispensable force for good in our world; and that the friendships and partnerships that bind us together will continue to create opportunity for us all.”
Prince Charles and Camilla’s visit to Germany continues on Wednesday in Leipzig.