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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 November, 2004, 18:49 GMT
Queen honours war dead in Germany
The Queen laid the wreath at the Neue Wache in Berlin
The Queen laid the wreath at the Neue Wache in Berlin
The Queen has laid a wreath at a memorial to the victims of war and tyranny, at the start of a state visit to Germany promoting reconciliation.

Accompanied by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, she laid the multi-coloured flowers at the Neue Wache in Berlin.

The remains of an unknown soldier and a concentration camp victim lie buried at the memorial in earth from World War II battlefields and Nazi death camps.

The Queen will later attend a benefit concert to restore Dresden Cathedral.

But it is thought unlikely she will apologise for the Allied assault on Dresden which killed 50,000 people, as well as devastating the cathedral, in 1945.

"The Queen, having lived through World War II, is better aware than those who did not of the suffering caused to people on both sides," a Palace spokeswoman said

I am glad that I was able to do something for the relations between Britain and Germany in a difficult time
Bert Trautmann OBE

"She will be acknowledging and commemorating the suffering."

During the Queen's last state visit to Germany in 1992, two eggs were thrown at her car when she was in Dresden for a church service of reconciliation.

This time she will not be visiting the city.

The Queen requested that proceeds from Wednesday night's gala concert at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall be donated to the restoration of Dresden's Frauenkirche, which was destroyed in the wartime bombing.

The Queen and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
The Queen visited the Schloss Charlottenburg presidential palace

Some years ago, she made a personal donation to the cathedral's rebuilding fund.

The concert by the Gateshead-based Northern Symphonia orchestra will be attended by 2,000 people and is one of the biggest events hosted by the Queen abroad.

After landing at Berlin's Tegel military airport earlier on Tuesday, the Queen began her fourth state visit to Germany by being driven, with the Duke of Edinburgh, to the Schloss Charlotten presidential palace in a dual-fuel royal Bentley - a German-owned company.

Welcomed by about 1,000 well-wishers, a military band and tri-service guard of honour, the Queen was given a porcelain model of the Brandenburg Gate and the duke a wristwatch by President Kohler and his wife, Eva Luise.

The Queen gave the president two silver-framed photographs of herself and the duke, and a leather-bound book of the George III and Queen Charlotte exhibition at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

She gave Mrs Kohler a jewellery box made by her nephew David Viscount Linley.

The Queen and the duke later met Germany's chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, at the ultra-modern Chancellery, and 24 British and German students, aged 16 to 19, working together to study the effects of climate change.

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