Archaeology is a lot of fun. You never know what you might dig up, left over years ago by absentminded ancestors. Coins, old rubbish, bits of pottery, scraps of letters, an unexploded ordinance that could take out half the street if it’s so much as looked at funny.
The latter was recently the source of a number of headaches for the authorities of Heidelberg in Germany as they prepared the city in advance of a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children. Barely a day to go before the Cambridge’s arrival, workers at a train station found the weapon dropped by the Americans seventy years ago while performing some last-minute touch ups. Recognising that the heirs to the British throne being turned into royal pate by an unexploded bomb might create something of a diplomatic incident, the City of Heidelberg was very quick to commission a team of bomb disposal experts to quickly deactivate and remove the bomb before the Cambridge’s arrival.
Although the removal went without incident, everyone within a 300 metre radius were required to evacuate as a safety precaution while the operation was ongoing. Some 2,300were thus affected by the incident and had to leave their homes. Two kindergartens were also evacuated, and traffic along nearby stretches of road was brought to a standstill.
Eventually the 500-pounder was successful disarm and extracted late into Wednesday night, and Heidelberg breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the Cambridge’s visit will be dynamite a lot less literally.
The visit by the Cambridge’s to Germany follows on from a visit to Poland undertaken by the entirety of the family, largely as a means of strengthening and reaffirming ties between Britain and the Continent as negotiations over the former’s withdrawal from the EU proceed apace. This trip in turn follows on from a trip by the Duke and Duchess to Paris earlier this year, as well as a visit by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to Italy, Austria, and Romania. While in Germany the Cambridges will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, visit the Holocaust Museum, and take part in a friendly boat race.
With Prince George enrolling in school for the first time this September, and Princess Charlotte likely to join a nursery, this trip may well be the last time the Cambridge household will be able to conduct a royal visit together without concerns regarding school and education.