Germany has royal visitors again: The Belgian royal couple began their three-day trip to Germany in Berlin. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arrived at BER Airport with a delegation for their state visit.
They were then received by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Berlin's Governing Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU). According to the Federal President's Office, it is the first state visit of the monarch and his wife to Germany.
King Philippe, who celebrated his 10th anniversary on the throne this year, wore a black suit with a patterned tie. Queen Mathilde was dressed in dark green and gray. In the afternoon they were first welcomed by Steinmeier with military honors at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the Federal President. During the traditional ritual with a military formation of honor, the state guests heard the anthem of both countries.
Onlookers with Belgian flags
Philippe and Mathilde then went to the Brandenburg Gate, where they were welcomed by Wegner. Some onlookers came with Belgian flags in their hands. According to a statement, Wegner said: "This state visit is also an expression of the strong friendship between Berlin and Belgium and will deepen our connection even further." A wreath-laying ceremony in the Neue Wache, Germany's central memorial for the victims of war and tyranny, was also planned.
Philippe - the eldest son of ex-King Albert II - is known for his quiet and reserved nature. The state visit will focus on the partnership between Belgium and Germany - for example with a view to the energy transition. The three-day trip to Germany ends on Thursday in Dresden.
In the evening there was a state banquet hosted by the Federal President in honor of the royal visit. According to a text published in advance, Steinmeier described the bilateral cooperation between Belgium and Germany as “trusting and, above all, friendly”. Good neighbors are even more important in a time of upheaval and global challenges. He also mentioned climate change.
King Philippe also praised the good cooperation and cited climate protection and the expansion of renewable energies as examples. “Our country is an important link for energy transit to Germany,” said King Philippe, according to the text of the speech that was distributed in advance. Belgium is working on the intelligent distribution of clean energy from the North Sea and has built wind turbines for 300,000 families on the German Baltic Sea coast. "This unprecedented collaboration with Germany shows that Belgium is part of the solution to the many challenges."