“It’s a good thing that Germans and Britons are now rivals only on the football pitches,” said Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, addressing King Charles III at the official dinner he hosted in his honor yesterday (Wednesday) evening. In his objection, the monarch emphasized the importance of the relationship between Britain and Germany and assured that while he is on the throne, he will work to further strengthen relations.

“Your visit is a strong message against war and rivalry,” Mr. Steinmeier said, addressing Charles III and, referring to the Russian attack on Ukraine, noting that it “revived memories of the worst times of our continent.” Putin’s “barbaric calculation did not work, we, the allies in NATO, the United Kingdom and the European Union, are more united than ever!”, added the federal president and continued, recalling that “especially after the terrible destruction brought by the Germans on the continent in two world wars, such a thing cannot be taken for granted, that once enemies are now friends.”

Charles’ official visit, his first abroad as monarch, comes exactly six years to the day since the British government asked to leave the EU. “There were not a few who feared that Germans and Britons could lose each other another, because of Brexit. But it didn’t happen that way. Our ties are very strong, our friendships are very close, “after the end of the Second World War”, said the German president, and pointed to the cooperation of the two countries in the construction and installation of an underground cable between the Isle of Grain as a typical example. and Wilhelmshaven. Work is expected to start later this year and will be the first direct electricity connection between Germany and Great Britain, as part of the two countries’ drive for climate neutrality.

King Charles III, also speaking in German, expressed his emotion for the warm welcome the Germans gave him and his wife Camilla, but also for the warm and moving words of support and affection after the death of his mother, the Queen Elizabeth II. “Your kindness means more to me and my family than I can express in words,” the monarch said, also praising Germany for welcoming and hosting refugees from Ukraine. “It is a convincing proof of the generosity of the people in Germany,” he pointed out.

The federal president presented his guest with a photograph from his first visit to Germany in 1962. Charles is pictured in it at the age of 13, arriving at Frankfurt airport with his father, Prince Philip. “It is my personal pleasure to give it to you today, as a sign of the long-term connection between our two countries.

Among the official guests at the Bellevue presidential palace last night were Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, Finance Minister Christian Lindner, former Federal President Joachim Gauck and former Chancellor Angela Merkel. In addition, the guests were the dancer of the German show “Let’s dance” Mochi Mabuse, who participates as a judge in the corresponding British production, which is watched fanatically by the king and his wife and the German-British singer, a member of the famous band “Toten Hosen”. . Chancellor Olaf Solz did not attend the dinner, a fact which caused mixed comments, mainly in the British media. The Times of London reported in the evening that the chancellor “will miss the dinner, although his calendar for tonight is empty”, while in their analysis they spoke of “a tacit gesture of compromise to keep the peace in the fractured governing coalition and each party to get his share of the spotlight.”

However, the chancellery clarified that Mr. Soltz usually does not attend such official dinners with foreign leaders anyway, while the protocol does not provide for such a thing. In 2015, however, his predecessor Angela Merkel chose to be at the presidential palace during the official dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth. “The chancellor is looking forward to the meeting he will have today (Thursday) with the king,” a chancellor spokesman added.