The King has pledged to “strengthen the connections” between the UK and Germany as he paid tribute to the “enduring value” of the two nations’ relationship.
In the first state banquet speech of his reign, Charles stressed that he was “utterly convinced” the bond between Britain and one of the EU’s leading nations “will grow ever stronger”.
He drew laughs from guests at the white-tie event when he referenced a British comedy sketch hugely popular in Germany called “dinner for one”, about an elderly aristocrat who dines alone while her waiter gets progressively more drunk as he consumes alcohol poured for her missing dinner guests.
The historic day saw the King and Queen Consort receive an official welcome in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of peace and unity and the first time the location has been used to greet a foreign head of state.
Germany’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender warmly welcomed Charles and Camilla as their first state visit began, heralding a deepening of the post-Brexit relationship between the two countries.
At an event promoting UK and German climate and sustainability efforts, he praised the King’s green “convictions” and thanked him for making the “personal gesture” of choosing his country as the destination for the monarch’s inaugural state visit.
Among the guests were a few celebrities, including German resident and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse, and distant German relations of the King, who told those gathered: “The relationship between Germany and the United Kingdom matters greatly to me, too, Mr President, and I am more convinced than ever of its enduring value to us all.
“It means so much to us that my wife and I could come to Germany for this very first overseas tour of my reign.
“I can only assure you, that throughout the time that is granted to me as King, I will do all I can to strengthen the connections between us.”