Berlin welcomes this Wednesday with pomp and under very high security King Charles III accompanied by his wife Camilla for his first state visit abroad since his accession to the throne.
The royal couple were originally due to travel to France first before Germany, but that trip had to be canceled due to social unrest over pension reform in the country.
The sovereign and the queen consort are due to land in the early afternoon at the city's international airport.
The police have planned a massive deployment to Berlin where the spouses will stay for two days before traveling to Hamburg on Friday, the last leg of the visit.
Up to 1,100 police officers will be mobilised, reinforcements from other regions have been requisitioned as well as 20 explosive-sniffing dogs.
Several axes will be closed to traffic in the center.
The royal couple have expressed a wish to speak directly with the Berliners
”, which does not facilitate the task of the security forces, declared the director of the police force Thomas Drechsler in the German media.
“Important European gesture”
The curious will already be able to observe the couple up close in the afternoon at the Brandenburg Gate, in the heart of Berlin, where they will be welcomed by the Head of State Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife.
This is the first time that a State guest will receive military honors at the foot of this emblematic monument, which was also a symbol of the partition of the city for three decades.
There will be room for only 1500 people.
The police therefore advise to come early and to be patient.
Access to visitors will be open from 10.30 a.m. local time (8.30 a.m. Paris time) for a ceremony which should begin around 3 p.m. (1 p.m.).
The king will then go to the presidential palace where a banquet will be held as part of the visit which is intended as a solemn occasion to celebrate the relationship of friendship between the two countries.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who will accompany the monarch throughout his trip, described the arrival of the king even before his coronation on May 6 as an “
important European gesture
I want to tell him, but of course also tell all Britons: we in Germany, we in Europe, want close and friendly ties with the UK, even after Brexit," said the president, who
had made his invitation to Charles at the funeral of Elizabeth II in September.
Thursday, the king must in particular meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, walk with the mayor of the city on a market, give a speech to the German Chamber of Deputies and meet Ukrainian refugees.
"Allies and Friends"
Elizabeth II's last trip to Germany in 2015, during Angela Merkel's time, sparked great enthusiasm in the country.
His most significant visit dates back to 1965, to a Berlin separated by the wall.
It is seen as the moment that sealed the reconciliation between the two countries after World War II.
His son should also expect a warm welcome: he knows the country well, having visited more than 40 times, according to the British Embassy in Berlin.
In addition, the Germans remain big fans of the "
", coming from a "
very long tradition
" of monarchs and their "
" is not ready to dissipate even after the death of the popular queen, says to AFP Michael Hartmann, sociologist at the Technical University of Damstadt.
Then still Prince of Wales, Charles had insisted on “
the natural relations as allies and friends
” between the two countries during an intervention before the German deputies in 2020, pronounced partly in the language of Goethe.
He also recalled the German roots of the Windsors, evoking in particular the memory of his great-great-great-grandfather Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Ghota, German husband of Queen Victoria.