Wednesday, 19 July 2017

EU Blue for Berlin?

Was it EU blue? Given that Kate didn't borrow the famous floral hat that the Queen wore for the State Opening of Parliament that has taken endless comparisons to the European flag, there's no conclusive answer. But the striking shade of blue was a big hit on day three as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's European visit moved from Poland to Germany. Their visit to Berlin started with politics and ended with a political reference in William's speech. A big day, shaded blue.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Berlin with George and Charlotte after being given a nice cup of tea by the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and his wife. Kids on tour was so epic this time, they get their own post so we're straight on to mum and dad meeting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Things got slightly awkward when their host asked the royal couple if they could speak German and got a nein when clearly a ja was expected (not just by her, surely they learned enough beforehand just to say hello?) but after that it was all smiles.

If you're a) royal and b) in Berlin, you are expected to stand and smile in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Often, it's at the end of a tour but William and Kate bucked the trend and got it done straight away before cracking on with their first walkabout of the German visit. And they needed time for this one - another big crowd had turned out to see them following the interest in Gdansk yesterday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then went on to visit the Holocaust Museum in Berlin where they met Leon Henry Schwarzbaum who told them of his experiences.

The couple also walked through the Field of Stelae which is made up of 2,711 concrete blocks to symbolise the enormity of the Holocaust. It was a sombre moment.

The day then moved to east Berlin where William and Kate visited Strassenkinder, a charity supporting vulnerable young people. The support on offer is wide ranging with 200 children a day able to access education, welfare assistance and sports activities.

 This was cuddles for Kate time as she was almost floored by some enthusiastic children wanting to hug her and say hello. The couple seemed in their element here, talking to young people and posing for big group photos.

The last day engagement in Berlin was a meeting with the country's president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and his wife, Elke Budenbender, with all the traditional royal visit events to get through. We had official photos, there was a visitor's book to sign - every box was ticked.

The blue for Berlin was lost in the evening as Kate did what everyone expected and chose a red dress for the reception held by the British ambassador in Germany in honour of the Queen's birthday. Any of the three colours on the German flag had been a favourite for a Kate outfit during day one of Royal Visit Germany and the duchess didn't disappoint.

The Duke of Cambridge read a message from the Queen in which she spoke of the 'fond memories' she and the Duke of Edinburgh had of their five State Visits to Germany and added that they send 'their warmest good wishes for this special Garden Party'.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

This visit is all about relations with Europe and William gave a speech with that very much at its heart. He spoke of shared values before saying that ''the relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany really will continue despite Britain's recent decision to leave the EU''. The elephant in the room suddenly had a name. It's given some serious substance to this tour and could well be reflected in future discussions as the royal couple continue their visit to Germany. Thursday is all about Heidelberg  and a focus on arts, science and sport which is appropriate as it seems that the Cambridges have hit their stride. In the end, whether it was EU blue or not didn't matter at all.

Photo credit: Kensington Palace Instagram.


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