DBGN President talks about party to celebrate state visit of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in Hamburg
An invitation from the British Embassy to the President of the deutsch-britische Gesellschaft Nürnberg, to join a party of over 1,000 people to celebrate King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s State visit Germany and Hamburg was an honour too great to refuse. Although the chances of shaking hands or even getting close to the King would be slim an opportunity to raise the profile of DBGN would be worth it! Some impressions of Hamburg around a very well publicised event.
On arrival in Hamburg on Thursday evening we were instantly recognised as “Brits” by a friendly taxi driver who was already well versed on the upcoming Royal visit. While naturally critical of Brexit he, like many we spoke to, was proud that the new King had chosen Germany and especially Hamburg for his first State visit.
The visit of King Charles and Queen Camilla to the Reconciliation Church and the Rathaus were well attended despite the inclement weather.
The afternoon “Festival of British & German Music” was held in Schuppen52 in the harbour and guests were transported by boat from Überseebrücke. Discussion with a fellow guest during the boat ride highlighted Erasmus and how Brexit had cut that important student link between European and English speaking Universities. The simple fact that 1.45 billion people worldwide speak English (vs 2nd place 1.11 Chinese (source: Babbel)) illustrates one important reason why young Europeans will continue to gravitate towards a Great Britain hosted degree. My special thanks to BDO, one of the main event sponsors, and Frau Andrea Bruckner for some visual memories of the event.
The Sovereign brings a long line of tradition wherever he goes, something that was very evident in Schuppen 52, especially the tradition of military music. Some of the finest UK musicians have two careers – the second being a member of the armed forces. A party organised for the Commander in Chief would not be complete without a military band and the Band of HM’s Royal Marines Scotland gave their best; if only I could name the tune!
And the King and Queen made their entry heralded by the Royal Marines Band. Their arrival had been delayed by a tight schedule in Hamburg and so their stay at the event was curtailed but eventful. The red carpet had been routed past one of the bars and the internet picked up on the photos of King Charles serving German beer to those lucky enough to get to the front of the queue. The group “Lord of the Lost”who are the 2023 German Eurovision entry performed and were introduced to the royal couple.
On stage and during their short walkabout, it was very clear how much King Charles enjoys being amongst people. The videos and photos of the King and Queen at the various events during their German visit show them enjoying the contact with the people who had turned out to greet the popular Royal couple.
My lasting impression of the visit to Hamburg – the UK has left the EU, but has not left Europe. King Charles is working hard as a UK ambassador, bringing that message home around Europe and the wider world. His reception in Germany and especially Hamburg shows that the German-British connection is still alive and well. It should be taken as encouragement for our Society.
My thanks to the British Embassy, Berlin for the invitation but especially my thanks to the King and Queen for such an enjoyable afternoon.
Some media coverage:
Das-Koenigspaar-in-Hamburg (courtesy NDR)