Prince Wil­liam, Kate take Brexit ‘charm of­fen­sive’ to Ger­many

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Prince Wil­liam and his wife Kate em­barked yes­ter­day on a three-day visit to Ger­many billed as a “charm of­fen­sive” by lo­cal me­dia as Britain be­gins thorny Brexit talks in earnest. Wil­liam, who is sec­ond in line to the Bri­tish throne, and Kate touched down in Berlin from Poland ac­com­pa­nied by their young chil­dren Ge­orge and Charlotte. The first stop for the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge will be a lun­cheon at the gi­ant mod­ern of­fice com­plex of Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, widely con­sid­ered the Euro­pean Union’s most pow­er­ful leader.

Ger­man me­dia said the long-planned visit was aus­pi­ciously timed as the ne­go­ti­a­tions on Britain leav­ing the EU get un­der way in fits and starts. Na­tional broad­sheet Sued­deutsche Zeitung called the young fam­ily “Her Majesty’s Se­cret Weapon” and the Ger­man tour a “di­plo­matic mis­sion” with the en­thu­si­as­tic back­ing of the For­eign Of­fice. “They know bet­ter than any­one else on the is­land that the im­age of the United King­dom on the con­ti­nent is not the best at the mo­ment,” it said.

“What could you do in this sit­u­a­tion to in­di­cate to your neigh­bors that Britain is of course a sta­ble na­tion? Ob­vi­ously, you send in the roy­als.” News web­site Spiegel On­line called the visit a “charm of­fen­sive”.“The roy­als rep­re­sent a kind of com­mon sense that this hard ide­o­log­i­cal gov­ern­ment of the Tories seems to have com­pletely lost at the mo­ment,” its com­men­ta­tor Thomas Huetlin said.

Res­cue mis­sion

Con­ser­va­tive daily Die Welt called the royal visit to Ger­many “a kind of res­cue mis­sion” a year af­ter the fate­ful Brexit ref­er­en­dum which stunned the re­main­ing 27 EU mem­ber states. “Wil­liam and Kate are in Ger­many with their chil­dren to lighten the mood,” it wrote. In Poland, the royal cou­ple met free­dom icon and No­bel peace lau­re­ate Lech Walesa and vis­ited a former Nazi Ger­man con­cen­tra­tion camp.

While in Berlin, Wil­liam and Kate will greet the pub­lic at Bran­den­burg Gate, the land­mark sym­bol of Ger­man unity, and view the sprawl­ing Holo­caust Memo­rial in the heart of the cap­i­tal be­fore meet­ing Pres­i­dent Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier at his ur­ban palace.

The cou­ple will to­day move on to Hei­del­berg in the west, Cam­bridge’s twin city, where they will take part in a row­ing com­pe­ti­tion. They re­turn to Berlin late Thurs­day for a party at a cen­tury-old dance hall to meet Ber­lin­ers work­ing in “cre­ative in­dus­tries” be­fore com­plet­ing their Euro­pean tour on Fri­day in the port city of Ham­burg at the spec­tac­u­lar new Elbphil­har­monie con­cert hall. —AFP

BERLIN: Britain’s Prince Wil­liam, left and Kate, the Duchess of Cam­bridge, sec­ond right, ar­rive with their chil­dren, Prince Ge­orge, sec­ond left and Princess Charlotte, at Tegel air­port in Berlin. —AP

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