BERLIN – Prince Charles called Sunday for Britain and Germany to remember their long and close ties, reaffirmed by the nations' reconciliation after two world wars, as the U.K. tries to find its place outside — but also alongside — the European Union.
Charles' appeal during a visit to Berlin to attend Germany’s traditional day of remembrance was part of Britain’s diplomatic outreach to Europe's biggest economy, days before a deadline to strike a post-Brexit deal with the EU.
There is growing anxiety in London that Britain may find itself without favorable access to its biggest trading partner when a transition agreement with the EU expires at the end of the year.
“As our countries begin this new chapter in our long history let us reaffirm reaffirm our bond for the years ahead,” Charles said during a speech at the German parliament. "And let us reflect on all that we have been through together and all that we have learned.”
Wearing masks and the customary remembrance poppy, Charles arrived in Berlin late Saturday on a freshly rebranded U.K. government plane with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. They were welcomed on their first foreign trip since the start of the pandemic by Britain's new ambassador to Berlin, Jill Gallard, who tweeted that the prince was a “true friend of Germany.”
On Sunday, the royal couple were received by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Elke Buedenbender, at Bellevue Palace. The palace was built in the late 18th century by Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, to whom Charles is distantly related through his family's German line.
In his speech to the Bundestag, Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son noted such personal bonds, as well as the close diplomatic, cultural and economic links between the two countries going back centuries, and which were revived after the enmity of World Wars I and II.
“Our people have prospered from one another through commerce since the Hanseatic League established a trading relationship which continues to drive our shared prosperity," Charles said.