King Charles Presents First Address Of British Monarch To German Parliament In Two Languages

King Charles Presents First Address Of British Monarch To German Parliament In Two Languages

By Ben Kerrigan-

King Charles presented the first address of a British monarch to the German parliament, the King said Germany and the UK had shown “vital leadership” in the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and had taken decisions which “might previously have seemed unimaginable”.

“Since I last spoke in this building the scourge of war is back in Europe. The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has inflicted the most unimaginable suffering on so many innocent people,” he said.

“Countless lives have been destroyed; freedom and human dignity have been trampled in the most brutal way. The security of Europe has been threatened, together with our democratic values.”

The King, who delivered his speech in both German and English, said that while the world had watched on in horror at the “appalling scenes of destruction”, both nations could “take heart from our unity – in defence of Ukraine, of peace and freedom”.

He added: “As Europe’s two largest donors to Ukraine, we have responded with taking decisions which might previously have seemed unimaginable. Germany’s decision to send such significant military support to Ukraine is remarkably courageous, important and appreciated.

“Today, our pilots are flying side-by-side on joint operations over our Baltic allies. Here, in Germany, our armies have established a joint Amphibious Engineer Battalion, which I will visit later today.

“Germany is the only nation in the world with which the United Kingdom has such a joint unit, an extraordinary testament to the partnership we enjoy.”

The King’s remarks on the war in Ukraine come ahead of his visit later on Wednesday to a reception centre for Ukrainian refugees at the former Tegel airport on the outskirts of Berlin.

The Queen Consort will also visit the Refugio House community centre, a meeting place for locals and new Berlin residents, including refugees.

In a light-hearted section of his speech, the King turned to the bitter rivalry between German and English football teams, pointing to the Lionesses’ victory in the Euros. After getting a laugh for a joke comparing The Beatles to Brahms, King Charles said of the two nations: “We have laughed at each other and with each other.”

The King used his speech to celebrate the deep and historical bonds between Germany and the UK, noting that both nations are “admiring of each other’s culture, dependent upon each other’s economies, and inspired by each other’s ideas”.

Referencing his own German connections, he said: “Like many British people, I have close personal ties here – in my case, cherished family relationships and associations that go back generations.

“For all of us, however, there are countless points of connection and common experience in the British-German story, which has unfolded over nearly two millennia.”

And looking to the future, the King noted that “faced with so many shared challenges, the United Kingdom and Germany are together providing leadership to secure our shared future”.

He said that the UK and Germany are “Europe’s two largest producers of power from offshore wind”, and that both countries are “accelerating the expansion of our hydrogen economies”.

King Charles reflected on his mother’s life, spoke about the war in Ukraine, and emphasised in a united future of strong relationship.

The King had become the first British monarch to address German politicians from the Bundestag, while the parliament is in session, during his historic state visit to the country.

Charles is delivering a speech that will celebrate the deep historical bonds and longstanding links between Germany and the UK.

During the day the King will also attend a meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Federal Chancellery building.

It comes as Prince Harry on Tuesday accused the royal family of “without doubt” withholding information from him “for a long time” about phone hacking as they did not want to “open a can of worms”, the High Court heard.

King Charles has addressed the German federal parliament, the Bundestag – in German – on the second day of his first overseas trip as monarch and  said it was a great honour to be in the country, and talked about historic ties between the UK and Germany.

He thanked the German people for their warm wishes after the Queen died, and highlighted the support they have shown to Ukraine
He touched on the two countries’ sporting and cultural histories – drawing laughter and clapping from assembled MPs

Here are the key comments made by the monarch in his historic speech.

On Wednesday, the first portrait of King Charles since he took the throne has been revealed.

Painted in oils by artist Alastair Barford, the image depicts His Majesty wearing a blue suit, white shirt, pink tie and pocket square with his hand resting casually in his jacket pocket.

Though not an official portrait, it is the first commissioned portrait of the King to be unveiled since he became monarch.

Mr Barford said he wanted to capture a “personal and intimate” image of His Majesty, which is why he depicted him in a suit rather than ceremonial robes.

Shared Anglo-German history

A great reverence for Germany and its historical and cultural connections with the UK was at the forefront of the King’s speech. The soft power of the monarchy was on display, with praise for the “profound” personal impact Germany has had on him.

On the heels of Bärbel Bas offering her “great respect” for the late Queen, the King said the friendship between Germany and the UK “meant so much” to his mother. He thanked the German people for the “deep sympathies” they offered following her death.

He praised Germany’s “very important” decision to provide military support to Ukraine and said he is encouraged by the unity shown when it comes to defending the country from Russia’s invasion.

At the end of his speech, the King said that “heeding the lessons of the past is our sacred responsibility”, and that it can only be achieved through a “committment to our shared future”.

“Together we must be vigilant against threats to our values and freedoms, and resolute in our determination to confront them. Together we must strive for the security, prosperity and wellbeing that our people deserve,” he said.

“In the long and remarkable story of our two countries, there are many chapters yet unwritten. Let us fill these with the restless pursuit of a better tomorrow. The legacy of our past, and the great promise of our future, demand nothing less. Thank you for your attention.”

 

 

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