During his first state visit abroad since becoming King last year, Charles spoke in Berlin of the “enduring value” of the relationship between the UK and Germany, expressing his commitment to strengthening connections. As part of Britain’s efforts to reset relations with Europe following its departure from the EU in 2020, Charles was welcomed with military honors at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
At a state banquet hosted by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Charles praised the generosity and hospitality of the German people, particularly in hosting over one million Ukrainian refugees. He also credited German expertise in organic farming as greatly improving his own farms and soil, demonstrating his ongoing focus on sustainability.
Although Charles had initially planned to visit France, he cancelled that part of the tour due to violent social unrest. Steinmeier greeted Charles and his wife Queen Consort Camilla in Berlin, describing the King’s decision to visit European powers France and Germany before his coronation as an important “European gesture”.
Over three days, Charles attended engagements reflecting issues facing both countries, such as environmental sustainability and the Ukraine crisis, and commemorated the past. He met with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, business leaders, academics, and civil society representatives at a forum on sustainability in Berlin. Charles also addressed the German lower house of parliament and met with Ukrainians who have taken refuge in Germany.
While the state visit was a sign of the UK’s push to reset relations with Europe, any warmer relations could be cooled if other post-Brexit issues flare up. Britain’s importance as Germany’s trading partner has fallen from fifth to eleventh place in 2022, behind the Czech Republic.