Article written by Christin Zi who has a wonderful Twitter account, well worth following. The Spanish royal couple was paying a state visit to Germany from 17 to 19 October 2022, and Christin was accredited for the arrival of the King and Queen on Monday 17 October 2022 at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin.
It was a sunny and warm morning when I was honored to be part of the Press Pool for the State Visit of Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain to Germany last week. Arriving at Bellevue Palace at around 9.30am a police officer showed me the way to the security room, which looked like the areas at airports. After the check I was allowed to enter the grounds of the Palace, where I joined a group of waiting photographers and journalists. I was surprised to hear a lot of different languages. Of course German and Spanish, but I also heard some French, English and Danish.
After everyone went through the check, a woman of the media support of Bellevue Palace guided us to the press area for the arrival of Their Majesties. If I learned something from previous visits … it´s run. With just a little bag, my camera and my phone I was fortunate to be able to get a place in the first row at around 10.05am. Now it was about waiting and defending the place against big cameras, camera tripods and journalists. Another member of the Bellevue Palace press team collected those journalists, who wanted to attend the signing of the guest book.
At 10.25am the band of the German Armed Forces arrived and started playing music with King Felipe and Queen Letizia arriving in their car on time 5 minutes later. The Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, warmly greeted them, together with his wife Elke Büdenbender. After the National Anthems and the inspection of the military honors both couples greeted a class of the Joan-Miró school in Berlin, took pictures and signed German and Spanish flags.
With us still waiting outside, inside the signing of the guest book took place at around 11am. Once the couples left for their private conversations, we were allowed to step into the press conference room, where we waited for over one hour until the press statements started at quarter past twelve. When His Majesty King Felipe began his statement with “Good Morning”, you could hear a soft laugh in the press area. Apparently, most of us thought the same … it was already lunch time.
With Their Majesties saying goodbye and leaving for their next engagement, all photographers went to the windows to get some good departure pictures. Before I left the Palace, I asked a member of the press team if it would be possible to make some pictures of the guestbook, because I wasn´t part of the press during this program point earlier. She kindly allowed me to, but a member of security kept an eye on me.
After most of the photographers and journalists left, the housekeepers of Bellevue Palace started to change the red carpet for the State dinner later this evening. That’s what I call German thoroughness.