At a request by Her Majesty’s Government, the Duke of York will visit Germany on the 3rd and 4th June as part of the celebrations to mark the 300th anniversary of the ‘Personal Union’ between Britain and Hanover.
This year, British Ambassador Simon McDonald will relocate the traditional Embassy Garden Party in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday, from Berlin to Hanover. Prince Andrew will attend the event at Schloss Herrenhausen, the former summer residence of the House of Hanover, and will officially name a ‘George I rose’ in the Herrenhausen gardens. The event will also include a ceremony marking the departure from Germany of the 1st Armoured Division.
Also on the Duke’s programme are meetings with Lower Saxony Minister President Stephen Weil and Hanover Mayor Stefan Schostok, alongside a visit to the exhibition ‘The Hanoverians on the British Throne 1714-1837’ at the Lower Saxony State Museum.
Prince Andrew will have the opportunity to discuss some of his personal interests throughout the visit when he has the chance to speak with British and German partners about education, skills, science and engineering, whilst trying to deepen the relationship between Lower Saxony and the UK.
Wolfsburg will also be on the Prince’s agenda. Wolfsburg is the home of the world’s second largest carmaker Volkswagen, which is a major investor in the UK; it is the sole owner of Bentley Motors PLC based in Crewe. Andrew will meet apprentices both from Volkswagen and Bentley and will learn about Volkswagen and Bentley’s shared training programmes. The visit to Wolfsburg will also highlight the role played by British Officer Ivan Hirst in rebuilding Volkswagen after the Second World War.
From Wolfsburg, the Duke will head south to Gottingen whose historic university was founded by King George II in 1737 and remains one of Germany’s most prestigious university’s. Andrew will meet students and academics representing the lively modern day exchange between Britain and Germany.
The visit as a whole will also serve to highlight the strong trade and investment links between Lower Saxony and the UK. As well as Volkswagen, Prince Andrew will visit headquarters of Europe’s largest travel group TUI AG, which owns a majority stake in TUI travel PLC, based in Crawley, West Sussex.
The ‘Personal Union’ of the two Crowns began with the accession of King George I in 1714 and ended with the death of King William IV in 1837. The 123 years of the union represent a particularly rich, political, cultural and scientific exchange between Britain and northern Germany. The Georgian era was an important period in Britain’s economic, constitutional and political development and encompassed the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the British Empire.