BERLIN (AP) — King Charles III. boarded a carriage, albeit not a horse-drawn carriage, for the final leg of his three-day trip to Germany, traveling by train from Berlin to the port city of Hamburg, where he intended to commemorate key events of World War II.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier accompanied Charles and Camilla, the Queen’s wife, on the two-hour high-speed train journey from the capital.
The couple landed in Berlin on Wednesday for Charles’ first trip abroad as king. Steinmeier greeted her at the Brandenburg Gate with full military honors and later hosted a banquet in her honor.
On Thursday, Charles became the first monarch to address Germany’s parliament, telling the assembled lawmakers that “together we must fight for the security, prosperity and well-being our people deserve”. He then met with Ukrainian refugees and a Anglo-German military unit before visiting an organic farm where he tried his hand at cheese making.
Charles’ trip is part of a carefully calibrated effort by the UK government to mend fractured ties with its continental partners following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Charles originally planned to visit France first, but anti-government protests in the country prompted both governments to postpone that part of his trip. The new itinerary put the focus on Germany, where Charles has family roots and the royals have long been the subject of allure.
In Hamburg, the royal couple is to visit a memorial for the Kindertransporte, which 85 years ago led to more than 10,000 Jewish children finding refuge from Nazi Germany in Great Britain.
Charles and Camilla will also lay a wreath at the remains of St Nikolai Church to commemorate the more than 30,000 people, mostly German civilians, killed in Operation Gomorrah, the Allied bombing raid on Hamburg in July 1943.
A boat ride and farewell reception complete the King’s visit with musical performances including a Beatles cover band and a shanty group.
While the royal couple received a warm welcome in Germany, the weather proved to be an issue. Charles got caught in a spring rain on Thursday. The police in Hamburg predicted traffic disruptions and “typical British weather” for Friday – a cumbersome indication of rain.
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