On The Queen’s third day of her four-day State Visit, she and The Duke of Edinburgh travelled to Frankfurt – and had lunch with family!
Huge swathes of people gathered to see the Royal couple, and President Gauck once again escorted Her Majesty and Prince Philip to their engagements, first of which was a visit to St Paul’s Church. This is where the first freely-elected legislature in Germany met in 1848, and this is seen as the birthplace of democracy in Germany.
The Queen and her husband met local dignitaries, and then viewed the Golden Bull document dating from 1356, which formed the system for electing Holy Roman Emperor. Traditionally, the Emperor was from the Austrian house, and was more of a figurehead than a ruler, occasionally resolving disputes between states of the Holy Roman Empire.
A short walkabout was scheduled, and the affection the Germans have for The Queen was clear: Jana Bergmann, 16, said to The Telegraph: ‘I love The Queen. She is an idol for everyone. We are all fascinated by her. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a living legend like The Queen.’
Others shouted: ‘We love you Your Majesty and Prince Philip!’
The Royal couple then had lunch, where The Queen was greeted with cheers and rounds of applause, and Mr Guack toasted to The Queen’s health.
At the lunch, Prince Philip was able to meet some of his relatives: nephew Maximilian, Margrave of Baden, and his distant cousin Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse. Max’s father Berthed was married to the Prince’s sister Theodora, and Prince Donatus is related through another sister.
The Duke is originally from the Royal Family of Greece and Denmark, and is also a descendent of Queen Victoria, meaning he, like The Queen, is related to a number of Royals and European aristocrats.
Prince Philip speaks German and so was able to converse with natives, but Her Majesty only speaks French.
Volker Bouffier, president of the Bundesrat said at lunch: ‘The United Kingdom and Hessen are connected through numerous, longstanding relations and both Your Majesty and your Prince Consort have a special bond with our State due to the House of Hesse and Battenberg.’
‘Without the support from your country, we would never have been able to travel the long road from adversaries at war, then victorious and occupying powers, to partners and friends, as well as German and European reunification.’
Following the meal, the couple greet the crowds from the Römer balcony in the city’s centre, to a sea of Union flags and cheers.
Later that afternoon, a Garden Party was held at the British Ambassador’s residence in Berlin, to mark the State Visit. This is The Queen’s fourth visit to Germany, last spending time there in 2006.
Military musicians at the party played the James Bond theme tune – perhaps a nod to Her Majesty’s brief stint as a Bond Girl for the London 2012 Olympics.
Today, Her Majesty and Philip are visiting Bergen-Belsen, a notorious concentration camp a few hours outside of Berlin.
Photo:Andrew Parsons / i-Images