Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Calls For European Unity 50 Years After Her First State Visit In Germany
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is currently in Germany for a state visit 50 years after her first state visit in the country in 1965. This is the Queen’s seventh time in Germany after four state visits and two official visits.
The Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, arrived at Berlin Tegel airport on Tuesday and they attended a state banquet yesterday, hosted by German President Joachim Gauck.
In her state banquet speech, the Queen referred to historical anniversaries such as the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which sometimes is regarded as the foundation of democracy in England. Going through hard times and proud moments in the history of Germany and Britain in her speech, Her Majesty shared an intention for the strong friendship between those two countries to continue in future.
The Queen, who as UK head of state stays politically neutral, shared her concerns about the future of post-war Europe to warn against divisions in the continent and to call for unity:
In our lives, Mr President, we have seen the worst but also the best of our continent. We have witnessed how quickly things can change for the better. But we know that we must work hard to maintain the benefits of the post-war world. We know that division in Europe is dangerous and that we must guard against it in the West as well as in the East of our continent. That remains a common endeavour.”
German President Joachim Gauck also emphasized the need of a stable European Union based on a foundation of shared values.
Among the guests at the state banquet were German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister David Cameron, who is willing to reform the UK’s EU membership. Earlier the day Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Her Majesty to the Chancellery in Berlin and Queen`s fifth state visit in Germany will culminate on Friday when Her Majesty is about to travel to Bergen-Belsen, in northern Germany, for a first visit in a former Nazi concentration camp. The visit, taking place at the Queen’s request, according to the British embassy, is expected to generate huge levels of interest in Germany.