Charles and Camilla welcomed to Berlin for Germany’s National Day of Mourning

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Prince Charles arrives for a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace in Berlin Credit: AP

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been officially welcomed to Germany by the country’s president ahead of events commemorating the National Day of Mourning.

Charles and Camilla were greeted by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender on the steps of the Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

The foursome exchanged namaste welcomes – clasping their hands together and bowing their heads – before posing for a socially distanced photograph.

Mr Steinmeier ushered his guests inside the 18th-century palace which is his official residence and invited them to sign the guests’ book.

The royal couple are welcomed to Bellevue Palace, Berlin Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

The Prince of Wales is preparing to deliver a speech in the German capital after celebrating his 72nd birthday.

Charles has been busy supporting the Queen during Remembrance week – as he does every year – and is believed to have marked his personal milestone privately.

In Germany the heir to the throne will urge nations to confront intolerance and bigotry head-on and make striving for a "better tomorrow" their "common cause" during a ceremony marking Germany's National Day of Mourning.

Last weekend on Remembrance Sunday, the prince laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in honour of the country’s war dead on behalf of the Queen.

In a speech at the Bundestag on Sunday, Charles is also expected to call on Britain and Germany to "reaffirm" their bond as the two nations "begin this new chapter in our long history".

Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall will become the first members of the royal family to attend Germany's remembrance ceremony in Berlin on Sunday - the couple's first joint official overseas visit since the start of the pandemic.

Charles is expected to celebrate his birthday privately with Camilla Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Charles and Camilla will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Neue Wache – New Guardhouse – home to the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny.

The royal couple will step forward together and touch their wreaths in the German tradition of symbolically tidying the ribbons, before a moment of silence and a solo trumpeter playing The Good Comrade.

During 2020 Charles has seen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex step down from official royal duties and move to America, and experienced coronavirus first hand, contracting the virus in March.

Like the rest of the royal family he adapted his engagements during the first national lockdown, taking them online by holding video calls and posting messages of support on social media.

It will be Charles and Camilla’s first joint official overseas visit since the start of the pandemic Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

The eldest child of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on November 14 1948, weighing 7lb 6oz.

He became heir apparent on the death of his grandfather King George VI, when his mother succeeded to the throne on February 6 1952 when he was three.

He was created Prince of Wales on July 26 1958 when he was nine.

Charles, who is patron of more than 400 organisations, is the oldest heir to the throne for more than 300 years.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among those to send birthday wishes, posting a picture of a smiling Charles on their official Instagram and Twitter accounts to mark the occasion.

A young Charles with his sister the Princess Royal Credit: PA

“Wishing a very Happy Birthday to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales!” the couple said on Twitter.

Gun salutes would normally be fired in celebration of Charles’s birthday from Green Park, the Tower of London and other locations around the country.

But a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said Covid restrictions meant they would not take place this year.

She said: “We can confirm that, following consultation with key stakeholders, ceremonial gunfire from all saluting stations continues to be temporarily suspended due to national Covid-19 restrictions.

“As such, the gun salute due to take place on Saturday 14 November for the birthday of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will now not take place.

“Future such events will continue to be regularly reviewed in conjunction with current Government Covid-related guidance.”