King Charles and Camilla arrive for state banquet in Germany
King Charles can breathe a sigh of relief after his hosts in Germany assured him the pen he used to sign the guest book of the presidential palace Schloss Bellevue had been “repeatedly checked” to make sure it worked properly. The King and Queen Consort Camilla touched down in Berlin yesterday for their first state visit since their ascension to the throne, with Charles able to avoid the pen malfunctions he suffered during his early days as monarch.
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Kai Baldow, head of protocol in the German president’s office, explained to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper how thoroughly the pen had been checked and added: “Our pen has never failed.”
Last year His Majesty went viral after clips of him losing his temper with writing materials, shortly after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth.
The first came at the meeting of the Accession Council – where he was first proclaimed King – where he pulled a face at a pen tray that was in his way while he was signing a document and beckoned an aide to remove it.
Then just days later a leaky pen in Northern Ireland left him exclaiming: “I can’t bear this b****y thing … every stinking time!”
The first day of the royal German trip began with a visit to the Brandenburg Gate, where Charles and Camilla were welcomed with military honours at the iconic landmark.
It also marked the first time the Gate has been used to welcome any visiting head of state.
The King inspected a guard of honour, accompanied by the President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before Charles and Camilla joined the German statesman and his wife Elke went on a brief walkabout meeting people waiting behind nearby crash barriers.
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Last night Charles gave a speech at a state banquet held at Schloss Bellevue to celebrate the royal visit, in which he pledged to “strengthen the connections” between the UK and Germany.
The King to the “enduring value” of the two countries’ relationship and stressed he was “utterly convinced” the bond between them “will grow ever stronger”.
He addressed the guests in both English and German, highlighting the two nations’ shared values of “promoting global health, net zero and protecting our shared democratic values”.
His Majesty also heralded the “extraordinary generosity” of his hosts in taking in over one million Ukrainian refugees.
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Earlier in the day President Steinmeier praised the King’s green “convictions” and thanked him for choosing Germany for his first state visit as monarch.
He said: “I am grateful that King Charles III began to champion healthy nutrition, sustainability and climate action very early on. We are all benefiting today from Your Majesty’s convictions.
“This visit, Your Majesty’s very first trip abroad as the new King, is a tremendous personal gesture – and for that I would like to express my heartfelt thanks.
“I am looking forward to the coming days and to the many opportunities we will have to exchange views.”
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