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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 November, 2004, 13:33 GMT
Queen in state visit to Germany
The Queen
It is the Queen's fourth state visit to Germany
The Queen will promote reconciliation with Germany in a state visit to the country which began on Tuesday.

She will attend a concert in Berlin to raise money for the restoration of Dresden Cathedral, which was devastated by Allied bombing in 1945.

The Queen will also lay wreaths to the memory of those who died on both sides of the World War II conflict.

But it is thought unlikely she will apologise for the Allied assault on Dresden which killed 50,000 people.

The issue of an apology has been debated in parts of the German and British press in recent days.

But German newspapers on Tuesday were united in welcoming the British monarch and her reconciliation efforts.

They praised her active role in raising funds for the restoration of Dresden Cathedral.

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

Buckingham Palace said no request for an apology had been received.

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

"She will be acknowledging and commemorating the suffering."

On Tuesday the German Die Welt newspaper was upbeat about the British-German relationship.

"Today sees the beginning of a visit among friends who appreciate their friendship," it said, going on to describe the Queen's preceding three state visits to Germany as "magnificent events".

However, its compatriot Sueddeutsche Zeitung said there was still room for improvement in relations between Germany and Britain.

"This is Her Majesty's fourth state visit to Germany," the paper says, "and it certainly is not her fault that the friendship between the two peoples still warrants improvement."

It wondered whether the teaching of history in British schools was partly to blame for the fact that there were still young Britons who call their German counterparts Nazis.

Egg attack

On her arrival on Tuesday, the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, was received by German President President Horst Koehler with military honours.

Later she is expected to meet Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and a group of German and British researchers who have studied the effects of climate change.

On Wednesday, she is due to open a conference on climate change at the British Embassy.

But the highlight of her visit is the gala concert at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall.

The Queen has requested that the profits of the event be donated to the restoration of Dresden Cathedral, the Frauenkirche.

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.

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.


SEE ALSO:
Football star Trautmann given OBE
01 Nov 04 |  Manchester
'Very few want British to go'
20 Jul 04 |  Europe
Making Germany sexy
08 Jul 03 |  Europe
Xenophobia slur on history lessons
09 Dec 02 |  Education


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