Queen greets Germany's Angela Merkel at Windsor Castle
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Germany’s Chancellor Mrs Merkel had her final official meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle last week, as she prepares to step down after 16 years in power. Mrs Merkel’s visit followed an audience with the Prime Minister at Chequers, and came just a few weeks after she met both the monarch and Boris Johnson at the G7 summit in Cornwall. The German leader had just backed down from an international travel spat and promised to allow fully-vaccinated Brits to visit Germany — without quarantine — at some point in “the foreseeable future”.
During their pivotal meeting, the sovereign posed next to the outgoing German Chancellor, and told Mrs Merkel they were “making history”.
Discussing the visit on Pod Save The Queen, podcast host Ann Gripper and Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers looked at the Chancellor’s behaviour around the British sovereign, and speculated that she was “nervous”.
Ms Gripper claimed: “It was quite a warm greeting — Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, looking — not exactly deferential…”
Both agreed Mrs Merkel looked very “respectful” in the Queen’s presence.
Mr Myers commented: “I thought she looked sort of nervous and the Queen was talking about the press who had gathered to take a photo…”
As the Queen welcomed Mrs Merkel, she said to her: “We have got the photographers here, always wanting to take a picture — making history.”
Mr Myers continued: “I thought the Queen was quite sweet, trying to make her feel relaxed as she was saying it.
“Merkel was sort of, almost overawed — and why wouldn’t you be?
“You’re in the Queen’s home, and she’s 95, this is the last time you’re ever going to meet her.
“They had met at the G7 I suppose, but you’re in her house.”
The Queen’s favourite royal estate is said to be Windsor Castle; she used to hold the majority of her audiences in Buckingham Palace, but she appears to now favour her more rural home for work-related engagements since spending lockdown out of London.
Questioning why Mrs Merkel might have been nervous, Ms Gripper noted: “It’s a much more intimate setting [in Windsor Castle].
“And I would imagine in that setting, they probably do just dispense with the interpreters, and it is just her and the Queen and she is just dealing with it in English.
“She [Merkel] was saying, ‘It’s my first time at Windsor and I’m delighted to be here’.”
Ms Gripper went on to note that the German Chancellor did seem a little on edge, but claimed the Queen acted like a “total pro” in putting her at ease, while handling the photographers – a part of royal engagements which “can be a bit awkward”.
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The royal commentators claimed the monarch was trying to just have “some small talk” to relax the German leader and to provide better footage for the media.
However, the two women were expected to have a more private and in-depth discussion behind closed doors, away from the public eye.
The Queen also made headlines recently for meeting Mr Johnson for the first time in person since the first lockdown in March last year.
Although her husband of 73 years died in April, the sovereign has picked up her busy schedule of royal engagements with great vigour.
The two women met because Mrs Merkel is spending her last few weeks in office visiting a range of countries as part of her valedictory tour.
Many royal watchers also spotted the Queen wearing a German brooch, the Cambridge Emerald Brooch, during their meeting — an item which was won by one of the monarch’s ancestors during a raffle in Germany.
Their exchange was also expected to be a little awkward, as it came just days after England’s 2-0 victory over Germany in the Euro 2020 tournament.
However, Mrs Merkel first met the Queen in 2008 at Buckingham Palace and has been on good terms with her ever since.
They have met each other on several occasions, as Mrs Merkel has travelled to the UK a total of 22 times during her time in office.
Mrs Merkel was also willing to put other political tensions behind her during her most recent whistle stop tour of the UK, telling the media: “It is, now that Britain has left the European Union, a good opportunity to open a new chapter in our relationship.”
She continued: “We would be very happy on the German side to work together on a friendship treaty or a cooperation treaty which would reflect the whole breadth of relations.”
But, she expressed her “grave concern” to the Prime Minister about the number of fans permitted to watch the Euro 2020 matches at Wembley Stadium.
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