In his way of approaching people and shaking hands, King Charles III. almost a bit to the legendary American President Bill Clinton. Everyone feels personally meant, whether they are attending the military salute as a spectator in front of the Brandenburg Gate or are waiting as a spectator at the weekly market on Berlin’s Wittenbergplatz. Charles bathes in the crowd so naturally and effortlessly that one might think he wants to expand his electorate.
But – you have to remind yourself of that sometimes – he doesn’t have to. He can’t do that! Charles is king because he was born a crown prince, and he would probably be king if he had never shook hands with a plebeian.
Nothing sets Charles apart from his late mother quite like his public approach. Elisabeth was also often in Germany, 15 times, Charles calculated in those days, five of them as a state guest. She attended receptions, attended memorial services and had expensive horses given to her. But Elisabeth would never have given a speech in the German Bundestag. She would never have sought small talk with the market butcher or tried honey from the beekeepers’ stand in front of KaDeWe. She probably wouldn’t even have gotten on the Bundesbahn, even if she had set course for Hamburg, Germany’s most British city.
Charles is environmentally conscious – like the Germans
Of course, Charles doesn’t just take the train because he’s closer to the people. He is environmentally conscious, and that also connects him with the Germans – and the Germans with him. Katja von Maltzan, who received the king in her 2500-hectare “eco-village Brodowin”, even called the high-ranking visitor from England the “organic pioneer par excellence”. That’s not exactly British understated through, but it’s not greatly exaggerated either. Charles was already involved with organic farming when it was still a technical term among esotericists in England. For a long time he endured ridicule in the kingdom because of his inclinations. It didn’t bother him.
Today it pays off. In contrast to other celebrities, who market-consciously tie in with politically correct zeitgeist issues, Charles has a high level of credibility when he champions the cause of nature. His interest in sustainability is genuine and his knowledge of it is hard-earned. Wildlife filmmaker and naturalist David Attenborough is one of his friends. From his organic farms in Cornwall, southwest England, Charles supplies health-conscious (and money-free) Brits with organic food. He also has Germany to thank for all of this in a roundabout way.
He is fascinated by the holistic view
The nation in the heart of Europe, which turned from friend to enemy overnight in 1914 and is now a “partner” again, shaped Charles’ youth in many ways. His boarding school in Gordonstoun, Scotland, followed the teachings of Kurt Hahn, a German-Jewish teacher who had worked at the Salem boarding school in southern Germany before he fled. Prince Philip, Charles’ father, went through the same school, which does not see freedom and discipline as opposites and focuses on character building through natural, physical challenges.
Charles, who suffered under the drill at Gordonstoun, owes his special attention to nature to the institution. The holistic approach has fascinated him since his youth, and over the decades he has shed light on the whole range, from Rudolf Steiner and homeopathy to Carl Jung to the shamans and Sufis of the Global South.
Seen in this way, Charles not only traveled to a large neighboring country with which the British government wants to have better relations again after Brexit. He also curiously visited the Germany of the Energiewende, the only political system in the world in which a green party has been regularly involved in governments since the 1990s, a society of concerned climate protection and organic culture.
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