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King heads to Hamburg on last leg of 1st foreign trip

King Charles and the Queen Consort have boarded a high-speed train bound for Hamburg for the final day of their state visit to Germany.

April 1, 2023
1 April 2023

King Charles III has boarded a carriage, though not the horse-drawn kind, for the final leg of his three-day trip to Germany, travelling by train from Berlin to the port city of Hamburg, where he planned to remember pivotal events from World War II.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier accompanied Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, on the two-hour high-speed train journey from the capital on Friday.

The couple landed on Wednesday in Berlin for Charles’ first foreign trip as monarch. Steinmeier greeted them at the Brandenburg Gate with full military honours and later hosted a banquet in their honour.

On Thursday, Charles became the first monarch to address the German parliament, telling assembled MPs that “together we must strive for the security, prosperity and well-being that our people deserve”. 

He then met Ukrainian refugees and a German-British military unit before visiting an organic farm where he tried his hand at making cheese.

Charles’ trip is part of a carefully calibrated effort by the British government to mend frayed ties with its continental partners after the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Charles originally planned to visit France first, but anti-government protests in the country led 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 fascination.

In Hamburg, the royal couple are scheduled to visit a memorial to the Kindertransporte, or children’s transports, that resulted in more than 10,000 Jewish children receiving refuge from Nazi Germany in the UK 85 years ago.

Charles and Camilla also are set to lay a wreath at the remains of St Nikolai church to commemorate the more than 30,000 people, mostly German civilians, who were killed in Operation Gomorrah, the Allied bombing of Hamburg in July 1943.

A boat trip and a farewell reception involving musical performances, including by a Beatles cover band and a sea shanty group, will round off the king’s visit.

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