According to the “Spiegel”, documents that have been kept secret so far show the effort that was made for the visits to Germany by British Queen Elizabeth II, who died in 2022. The magazine could see thousands of sheets of such files. These included notes for the Queen's meetings with the Federal President and Chancellor, letters from the monarch and her advisors and documents of the protocol.
During a state visit in May 1978, for example, Elizabeth II had clear ideas about her gift. According to the report, she asked Federal President Walter Scheel, who was in office from 1974 to 1979, for two horses – a Holsteiner, “not too light, definitely not too dark”, and a gray, “if possible white, definitely not dirty grey”. .
The federal government fulfilled her wish and bought the animals with a value of around 60,000 euros. According to "Spiegel", a head of state had never before received such a valuable gift. The expensive gift later led to “considerable objections” from the Federal Audit Office.
The German hosts remembered the Queen's passion for horses. Decades later, this would lead to a somewhat embarrassing situation: When Elizabeth visited Germany in 2015, the then German President Joachim Gauck presented a colorful painting showing a child on a blue pony as a gift.
The queen looked a little embarrassed: "Isn't that a little strange color for a horse?" she asked, trying to smile. Prince Philip roamed around in the background, who reacted just as irritated to the work of the painter Nicole Leidenfrost and conspicuously devoted himself to an antique map of Europe that was placed next to the pony picture.
"And that's supposed to be my father?" the queen asked, pointing to the man leading the pony by the reins. "Don't you recognize him?" asked Prince Philip. "Not quite."
The Federal President then tried to improve the mood with a casual saying: "If you don't like the picture, we still have Lübeck marzipan."
As the "Spiegel" now reports, the documents also document scramble behind the scenes. Elizabeth II had planned a speech to the Bundestag during her visit in October 1992. However, the performance was cancelled. The decision was a matter for the Bundestag, it was said at the time. Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU) will “not interfere”.
According to the report, a document now shows that this was not true: On a letter from a head of department to Kohl regarding the Queen's request, the head of the chancellery, Friedrich Bohl, wrote by hand that Kohl had spoken out against the speech: "BK: no!" On Thursday, the March 30, 2023 - more than 30 years later - is now scheduled for Charles III. for the first time a British monarch speaks before the German Parliament. The King is on a state visit to the Federal Republic from March 29th to 31st.
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