Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip went on a riverboat cruise through Berlin on Wednesday, the first full day of their state visit to Germany. Some noted that the 89-year-old monarch wore the same white and silver dress and coat by Angela Kelly that she sported for the rainy Jubilee river pageant in London in 2012. It was similarly wet and chilly in the German capital also, according to Express UK.
The royal couple were joined by President Joachim Gauck, 75, and his partner Daniela Schadt, 55, for the short walk from Bellevue Palace to the banks of the River Spree, where they climbed aboard the express pleasure cruiser Ajax. Philip, a former Royal Navy officer, seemed amused as the boat set off when it was steered very close to the riverbank. But it was quickly righted and sped off to cheers from thousands of well-wishers waiting at the riverside.
The queen was delighted by the enthusiasm of her reception and smiled warmly as she waved at the crowds. The two-mile journey took the queen past some of the best-known landmarks in Berlin, including the Tiergarten, the park created in the 16th century as a hunting ground for the King of Prussia. They also went past the Chancellery, the modern Bundestag, the old Reichstag with its Norman Foster dome, the imposing glass facade of the new Berlin Central station, and a national center for contemporary arts nicknamed the Pregnant Oyster.
The group then visited Bellevue, an 18th century palace. At the venue, a there was a modern painting of the queen as a small child sitting on a pony. Artist Nicole Leidenfrost had painted a young Princess Elizabeth riding a blue pony -- with flecks of yellow and green -- with the queen’s father George VI also in the image, holding the animal’s reins. The portrait was later presented to the queen.
Philip received a more traditional gift of an 18th century map of Europe and the royal couple were also given some luxury marzipan. In return the queen and duke gave the president "Briefe eines Verstorbenen," a four-volume set of the early 19th century letters of German nobleman Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau chronicling his journey around England, Wales, Ireland and France.