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The Queen’s visit to Germany

The royal couple will hardly have time to draw breath in an all-action itinerary.

The state visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to Germany from 23-26th June has gone little noticed by most of the media, eclipsed by the likes of royal babies and G7s.  But it will be a significant one, and the first official visit since 2004.

Despite very strong family connections, the royal party will be ignoring the roots of the Hanoverians and the Saxecoburgs. Instead they will be concentrating on more contemporary locations, particularly Berlin, Frankfurt and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Celle.

The first day, in Berlin, features a welcome at the Bellevue Palace by Joachim Gauck, Germany’s President, after which they will travel down the river Spree by boat to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel at her office. The two women will then lay a wreath at Germany’s Central Memorial for all the victims of war, before attending a state banquet back the Bellevue in the evening.

From Berlin, the royal couple will travel across to Frankfurt next day to visit St Paul’s church, greet the public in the Romer, Frankfurt’s reconstructed central square, and have lunch with the President of Hesse. That evening, back in Berlin, there will be a Garden Party hosted by the British Ambassador.

On their final day, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will start in Pariser Platz by the Brandenburg Gate with Berlin’s Mayor, then fly to Celle (near Hanover) to visit Bergen-Belsen. The latter was a Nazi concentration camp between 1941 and 1945 and the site is maintained as a memorial to the 70,000 people who died there.

The royal couple will lay a wreath at the memorial’s inscription wall after which they will return to Celle Military Airport, and back to the United Kingdom.

It’s a pretty heavy itinerary for anyone to complete, let alone a couple in their late 80s and early 90s.

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