“Bold, Important, Welcome”
Charles III speaks German and appreciates the aid to Ukraine
03/30/2023 12:53 p.m
King Charles III delivers his speech in the Bundestag. mostly in German. The British monarch emphasizes his friendship with Germany and talks about the war of aggression against Ukraine. He gets standing applause for his words.
The British King Charles III. paid tribute to the extensive German assistance to Ukraine in its defense against Russia. “Germany’s decision to provide Ukraine with such great military support is extremely courageous, important and welcome,” said the monarch in a speech to the German Bundestag. “Germany and the UK have taken an important leadership role.”
As the largest European donors, both countries have reacted decisively and made decisions that might have been unimaginable before, Charles said. The war of aggression against Ukraine brought unimaginable suffering to many innocent people. “Countless lives have been destroyed, freedom and people have been brutally trampled on. The security of Europe is threatened, as are our democratic values.”
The appearance in the Bundestag was the central point of the program on the second day of the state visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla, who had come to the Reichstag building with her husband. Charles III gave the majority of his 20-minute speech in German and only occasionally switched to English. The Bundestag gave him standing applause several times.
First trip abroad as king
Charles emphasized the close ties between the two countries – from trade in the days of the Hanseatic League to cultural and other aspects. He mentioned, for example, the Beatles and the German band Kraftwerk, the comedians of Monty Python or England’s victory over Germany in the final of the 2022 European Women’s Football Championship.
In her welcome speech, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas emphasized: “Great Britain and Germany are and will remain close allies and trustworthy partners.” This also applies after Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Bas gave thanks for the United Kingdom’s “indispensable and major contribution” to the liberation of Europe from Nazism and its friendship with Germany after World War II. She also commemorated the deceased mother of the king. Throughout her life, Queen Elizabeth II has campaigned for reconciliation between the two countries.
Bas, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Federal Council President Peter Tschentscher and the President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Stephan Harbarth, accompanied the guests to the plenary hall beforehand. The former Federal Presidents Joachim Gauck and Christian Wulff as well as the former Bundestag Presidents Rita Süssmuth, Norbert Lammert and Wolfgang Thierse followed the speech from the visitors’ gallery. The Bundestag interrupted its regular session for this. Charles III is the first king to give a speech to members of the Bundestag.
For Charles, it is the first trip abroad in his new role as king, which he assumed after the death of his mother in September. He arrived in Berlin with Camilla on Wednesday. On the third and final day of the state visit, the royal couple will travel to Hamburg tomorrow, Friday.