|Prince William and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Image: Rex.|
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time as the second in line to the British throne visited Dusseldorf, Germany, to celebrate the 70th year of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. This is Prince William’s first engagement in over a month after spending time with his family on a holiday in France and performing his duties as an air ambulance pilot.
The Prince’s visit came upon the request of the British Government in a bid to maintain the Anglo-German relationship following the referendum to leave the European Union. Speaking at the Tonhalle, Prince William that the “depth” of Great Britain’s friendship with Germany is too strong that not even the Brexit can break.
"In short, what began 70 years ago as a relationship of necessity between an occupying power and a region in ruin, is today a partnership of genuine friendship and of massive mutual benefit,” the 34-year-old prince said as reported in The Telegraph.
"This partnership will continue despite Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union. The depth of our friendship with Germany and with North Rhine-Westphalia will not change," he added. "Bilaterally and internationally we will continue together to lead efforts to promote prosperity, security and stability in the world," Prince William continued.
It was at this gala that the Duke and Chancellor Merkel met for the first time. They shook hands on a red carpet while a band was playing Let It Go from the film Frozen. The region of North Rhine-Westphalia was once two separate states and was merged by the British Government after World War II. Because of the continued presence of the British military after the war, Great Britain and North Rhine-Westphalia has formed a close link which lasts to this day. There are 27,000 British citizens living in the state, and 1,400 British companies headquartered in the area, The Mirror reported.