King Charles III of Britain addressed Germany’s Parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday during his first international trip as monarch, emphasizing the close ties between the two nations and applauding the military aid Berlin has given to Ukraine.
Alternating between German and English, Charles’s 25-minute speech elicited applause as he affirmed the “strength of the partnership” between Britain and Germany and discussed his own personal ties to the country. He also drew laughs, joking about soccer rivalries.
“Faced with so many shared challenges, the United Kingdom and Germany are together providing leadership to secure our shared future,” he said.
He underscored the importance of continued support for Ukraine, calling Russia’s full-scale invasion a threat to Britain’s and Berlin’s democratic values.
“Since I last spoke in this building, the scourge of war is back in Europe,” he said, adding that “freedom and human dignity have been trampled in the most brutal way.” Charles last visited Germany in 2020.
He noted that Britain and Germany are the two European countries that have given the most aid to Ukraine since the war began. “Germany’s decision to send such significant military support to Ukraine is remarkably courageous, important and appreciated,” he said.
“Together we must be vigilant against threats to our values,” he said, “and resolute in our determination to confront them.”
The king’s appearance in the Bundestag is part of a three-day trip to Berlin and Hamburg with the queen consort, Camilla, aimed to strengthen the relationship with the European Union after Britain’s exit from the bloc, which caused diplomatic ties to fray.
On Friday, Charles and Camilla will take the train to Hamburg, where they will visit a monument commemorating Kindertransport, the effort from 1938 and 1940 that delivered about 10,000 Jewish children to safety in Britain from Nazi Germany.
Jenny Gross contributed reporting.