Three days later and 550 miles (885 kilometers) northeast of his planned premiere, Britain’s new monarch will make his global debut Wednesday.
King Charles III’s ambitions are the same as his mother’s: to consolidate Britain’s strengthening connections with Europe and show that he can assist the U.K. win hearts and minds overseas.
Charles’ first major overseas visit as king may be hampered by the cancellation of the first stage of his trip owing to French pension protests. As Charles, 74, prepares for his May 6 coronation, first impressions count.
“Charles will have less opportunities to exhibit himself,” said Boston University royal specialist and contemporary British history professor Arianne Chernock. “He’ll need to be very careful about maximizing those moments to maximize his impact—there won’t be many second chances on this trip.”
Charles, who succeeded Queen Elizabeth II in September, had a greater plan for his coming out party as king.
The multi-day tour to the EU’s two largest countries was meant to promote British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s attempts to reestablish relations with the group after six years of Brexit disputes and underline the countries’ shared history as they fight Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Germany controls everything.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet Charles and Camilla, the queen consort, at the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday to begin the shortened tour.
On Thursday, the monarch will address the Bundestag. He will also meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian refugees, and British-German military personnel working on collaborative initiatives.
On Friday, the royal couple will visit the Kindertransport monument in Hamburg and a green energy event before returning to the U.K.
Sunak, who in his first six months in office settled the long-running issue over post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland and achieved a deal with France to stop people traffickers crossing the English Channel in tiny boats, encouraged the monarch to quit. Sunak expects a royal visit will foster goodwill and allow Britain to rejoin an EU program that finances scientific research across Europe.
This is Charles’ first great test of whether he can utilize the House of Windsor’s “soft power” to assist Britain achieve its geopolitical ambitions.
The Windsors are world-famous. Their official powers are limited by law and custom, but the media and public are attracted by their personal lives and historic rites and regalia.
The late Queen Elizabeth II was the queen everyone wanted to meet for tea, if only for her longevity.
Elizabeth saw presidents and prime ministers throughout the world during her 70-year reign, from the Cold War to the internet age.
Three days later and 550 miles (885 kilometers) northeast of his planned premiere.
One biographer, Robert Hardman, called his mother “Queen of the World,” but Charles’ star power is unclear.
Bronwen Maddox, head of London’s Chatham House public affairs think tank, said Charles had less years to make his imprint and won’t emulate her.
She stated, “He’s receiving this (opportunity) near the end of his life, and it’s very much a chance to make the best of it without saying that it is the same, in any way, as his mother. I think he will figure it out.
Charles, a former navy officer and the first British monarch to graduate from university, is anticipated to replace his gorgeous mother’s star power.
The king meets weekly with the prime minister and leads the Commonwealth like his mother.
His visit to Germany will emphasize these positions and his environmental and ecological initiatives.
Yet there will also be a full dose of royal pomp and ceremony, starting with a ceremonial greeting at the Brandenburg Gate, the central Berlin neoclassical structure that has framed so much of German history. The German president’s Castle Bellevue state banquet will include white tie and tiaras.
Hence, there will be much to draw spectators in Germany and show back home that Charles has settled into his king and senior diplomat roles.
Chernock stated, “Charles does not have to do too much for people to follow him because there’s the aura of the institution. His family and its drama intrigue others. He could stand motionless and not speak and still captivate crowds.”