Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, speaking in Germany with her Greek husband by her side, has hinted that that she supports the UK’s continued membership of the European Union.
“The United Kingdom has always been closely involved in its continent. Even when our main focus was elsewhere in the world, our people played a key part in Europe,” she told an audience of 700 dignitaries in Berlin, including British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Continued the Queen, addressing German President, Joachim Gauck:
“In our lives, Mr President, we have seen the worst but also the best of our continent. We have witnessed how quickly things can change for the better. But we know that we must work hard to maintain the benefits of the post-war world. We know that division in Europe is dangerous and that we must guard against it in the West as well as in the East of our continent. That remains a common endeavour.”
Observed The Guardian, “As she spoke, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor who sat at the Queen’s table in Berlin’s Schloss Bellevue along with her husband Joachim Sauer, nodded vigorously, a gesture that did not go unnoticed among observers.”
The Queen spoke of the advantages of Britons emigrating to the rest of Europe in the past, such as the Welsh engineer, John Hughes. He founded the mining town of Donetsk, now in Ukraine, in the Russian empire of the 19th century.
She also mentioned the 17th-century Scottish publican Richard Cant, who moved his family to Pomerania. “His son moved further east to Memel and his grandson then moved south to Königsberg, where Richard’s great-grandson, Immanuel Kant, was born,” she said.
The German media have been very supportive of the Queen’s visit. The Bild mass daily described her as “the secret weapon of British diplomacy” on a visit to “remind everyone of how poor Europe would be without the UK”.
And the Handelsblatt business daily published, “Every gesture, every word of the queen in the coming days has meaning, for Germany, Britain, Europe. It is the politics of the apolitical.”
But possibly it was Britain’s ‘Guardian’ newspaper headline that summed up both the mood and impression following the Queen’s historic speech:
“The Queen hints at desire for Britain to remain in European Union.”
Other articles by Jon Danzig:
- We should stay in the EU, says Virgin boss
- Support for EU highest ever
- The value of being ‘Citizens of Europe’
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