BERLIN - Britain’s King Charles III would travel to France and Germany on his first state visits abroad, the German presidency said on Friday. “The fact that King Charles chose Germany and France as his first destinations before his coronation is also an important European gesture,” German President FrankWalter Steinmeier said in a video message, announcing that the British royal would be in Germany on March 29-31.
The French presidency announced separately that Charles will be in France from March 26-29. Steinmeier said he and German first lady Elke Buedenbender would welcome Charles and Queen Consort Camilla in Berlin with military honours before inviting them to a state banquet at his Bellevue Palace in the city centre. On March 30 the couples will make visits together in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg before continuing to the northern port city of Hamburg the following day.
“This visit early on underlines the close and heartfelt friendship between our countries and our citizens,” Steinmeier said. The German head of state said he had extended the invitation to Charles at the funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September.
“The fact that he is now visiting half a year later shows how much the king values the friendship between our peoples,” Steinmeier said. “I want to tell him but of course also all Britons: we in Germany, we in Europe want close and friendly ties with the United Kingdom after Brexit as well,” he said, before adding in English: “Your Majesty: I look forward to welcoming you to Germany.”