Prince Charles is attending ceremonies on Germany’s traditional day of remembrance Sunday, seen as part of Britain’s diplomatic outreach to Europe’s biggest economy days before a deadline to strike a post-Brexit deal with the European Union.
Wearing masks and the customary remembrance poppy, Charles arrived in Berlin with his Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, late Saturday, where they were welcomed by Britain’s new ambassador, Jill Gallard, who tweeted that the prince was a “true friend of Germany.”
Britain and Germany were enemies in World Wars I and II, but have since forged close diplomatic, economic and military ties.
The royal couple were received Sunday by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Elke Buedenbender, at Bellevue Palace. The palace was built in the late 18th century by Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, to whom Charles is distantly related through his family’s German line.
Charles and Camilla will observe the traditional wreath laying ceremony at Berlin’s Neue Wache. Originally designed as a site to commemorate those who died in the Napoleonic Wars it is now Germany’s Central Memorial for the Victims of War and Tyranny.
Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son is scheduled to later deliver a speech at a memorial event in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.
The heir apparent has visited Germany more than 30 times since 1962, both in an official and private capacity, according to British officials, most recently in 2019.
Charles’ latest trip comes as Britain and the EU remain locked in difficult talks over a post-Brexit trade deal. There is growing anxiety that Britain may find itself without favorable access to its biggest trading partner when a transition agreement with the EU expires at the end of the year.
Steinmeier, who was Germany’s foreign minister when Britain held a referendum on Brexit in 2016 before assuming the largely ceremonial role as head of state a year later, has in the past dismissed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to renegotiate existing agreements with the EU.
Charles, 72, is exempt due to the diplomatic nature of his trip from Germany’s rules requiring him to go into quarantine on arrival from Britain. The prince has himself recovered from a coronavirus infection in March.