How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

So you’re probably either thinking, at last!

Or, what the darn diddly?

I cannot under-estimate how much I love living in Germany.

BMW Munich – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

I mean, I shout about it loud enough and it was just four (4) years ago that I introduced myself to you on this blog, when I wrote a cheeky article which most people didn’t seem to get. And the title? Germany is Boring.

Oops!

Ah well, either way, it’s going to be interesting.

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At the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It – 2015
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

As The British Berliner, I have been living in Germany for more than fifteen (15) years, so I’m more than qualified to tell you how things are done the German Way! 

I mean, what is the big deal?

The Berlin Wall – 28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

I’ll tell you what the big deal is my good man.

It’s the fact that Germany.

Otherwise known as Deutschland!

Has been together in peace and harmony for 28 years.

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!
© Enrico Verworner

That’s right.

28 years!

How I went on the radio for the BBC & was featured in Germany’s biggest Sunday newspaper!

Some people might think that by coming to Berlin or Munich for a lost weekend, they know everything they need to know about the German people.

Not so my friends.

It’s a little more complicated than that, so I’m going to help you!

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HOW TO BE A GERMAN – 10 WAYS TO DO IT!

Beer for everyone in Germany ‘cos the drinks are on meeeee!

Just so that you know what mean, here’s a 2004 MTV commercial called Günther, otherwise known as Mum, Dad, I’m German…

It’s totally ridiculous but absolutely hilarious, and very tongue-in-cheek. Watch the video below!

1.  LOOK THE PART AND WEAR SANDALS AND CLOGS. INDOORS!

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!
Man wearing sandals & socks. But why?! ©Rex

When I first came to Germany, I was amazed at the number of men who wore sandals.

With socks!

Why people? Why?

Keeping it real in Germany. With sandals and socks!
©REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

The last time I wore leather sandals was when I was a school girl, and they were a sensible pair of Clarks!

However, in order to be as German as the next person, I wear Birkenstocks at home. With socks!

I even wore Birkenstocks at my wedding!

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!
I even wore Birkenstocks at my wedding!

But without socks!

And in my defence, I had been wearing killer high heels all day which I had changed three (3) times!

I know!

2.  HAVE LUNCH FOR BREAKFAST!

German and French bread!
Luxembourg: A smart guide to the Grand Duchy of one of Europe’s smallest countries!

Germans aren’t known for the minimal look as far as food is concerned. They’re not French you know!

During the week, a typical German breakfast is a bun known as a brötchen. It’s usually covered with cold cuts and cheese with mustard, and a variety of other sauces.

At the weekend, it’s a feast!

At the weekend, it’s a feast, fit for a king!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Many German families, including my own, would queue for hours in order to get the freshest amount of bread straight from the bakery. And yes, many people still go to the bakery!

In fact, just five (5) minutes from my home is the family-owned and oldest bakery in Berlin – Bäckerei Siebert – and is still going strong after 111 years!

A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home!

Then they arrange their tables so that there’s a wide variety of cold cuts, sausages, cheese, seafood, eggs, fruit, and a wide assortment of bread!

The first time, I had breakfast with my German family, it was such a mish-mash of food that halfway through the meal, I left the table and was sick in the bathroom! It was too much you see, so get ready to gird your loins, as there’s no escaping!

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3.  SAUSAGES!

White sausages. I’ve tried it every which way, but I still don’t like it!
©TakeAway – Wikipedia

All hail the almighty S!

The very highlight of a typical German day is the sausage, so if you want to be a German, learn how to like it!

Germany has loads of different sausages and each comes with its own unique taste.

I find the white sausage with sweet mustard or Weißwürst quite disgusting personally, even though I’ve tried it every which way.

Ah well!

Delicious grilled pork sausages, otherwise known as bratwurst. Yum!

The grilled pork sausages with mustard, ketchup or both, otherwise known as Bratwurst can be decisively delicious.

My favourite German sausage however, is the currywurst. The currywurst is Berlin’s most famous sausage.

Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

Currywurst!

Yummy! Yummy!

Currywurst is beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder. It’s eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun.

It’s such a famous icon that it even has its own Currywurst Museum where you can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips. You can sometimes even have chocolate and curry ice-cream!

If you’re vegan or a vegetarian however, you’re done for!

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4.  RECYCLING!

Collecting poo!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

I’m happy to say that Germany is the leading country as far as going green is concerned, and they’ve been doing it for years!

I remember when I first came to Germany, and I casually put a piece of paper into the dustbin, my German boyfriend at the time, literally freaked out.

It was the wrong dustbin!

Germans have a dustbin for everything.

Germans have a dustbin for everything!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

There’s a dustbin for paper.

A dustbin for plastic.

A dustbin for glass.

A dustbin for metal.

A dustbin for organic stuff.

A dustbin for dog poo.

A charity bin for clothes with a different compartment for shoes. Of course.

There’s even a dustbin for batteries!

If you want to be a German, don’t do this!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

And every supermarket will encourage you to leave your cardboards boxes and plastic packaging behind, if you so wish.

Oh, and most people have recycling bags that they take with them for shopping.

And don’t think you can sneak your large items into the backyard, as the dustbin men won’t take them, and you’ll be charge for “littering!”

We even have our own organic compost “bin” in the garden!

If you want to be a German keep your rubbish, and take it home!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

If you want to be a German keep your rubbish, and take it home!

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5.  PUNCTUALITY!

If you want to be a German, don’t be late!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

If you want to be a German, if your appointment is at 09:00, make sure you arrive there on the dot, or better still, a few minutes before. However, if you arrive twenty (20) seconds later, you’re late!

Mind you, don’t be like the strange fellow that I invited to a Christmas dinner party I was organising. He arrived at 17:00, and the invitation was for 20:00!

I sent him away!

6.  SMALL TALK ISN’T A THING!

No need to worry. I’ll do the talking!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I live in Germany.

I have quite a knack for small talk.

Most Germans haven’t.

They don’t seems to understand what I mean by “small” talk. They think we British people are trying to evade the subject.

Don’t be shy. Speak plainly if you like her hair!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Germans believe in speaking plainly and clearly, about what is on their minds!

I once had some random stranger who stopped me on the street, and told me that he didn’t like my hair style!

See.  Plain and true. No beating around the bush here!

Oh, and talking about the private issue of how much you earn, could get you fired!

If you want to be a German, forget about it.

Let it go!

It’s against the law!

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7.  LONG CONVERSATIONS!

If you want to be a German, ask more questions! How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

If you want to be a German, learn the art of a long conversation and long meetings. There’s no need to say something in one (1) minute, that could better be said in ten (10)!

What’s the hurry?

Slow down.

Don’t make your mind up too quickly.

Sleep on it.

Discuss it a bit more over lunch, and a few pints of beer.

Then let’s talk about it again next week!

8.  DOCUMENTATION!

Bring along all your documentation!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

For the laymen among you, that means paperwork and certification!

If you want to settle into German life, and you don’t have any certificates, you won’t get very far. After all, how would they know that you’ve “done it,” if they can’t record it, and file it away somewhere!

Germany is a high-technology country, but as far as paperwork and bureaucracy is concerned, it might as well be back in the Dark Ages!

Put the kettle on. We’re going to be here all day!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!
Put the kettle on. We’re going to be here all day!
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

So bring along document A, as well as three copies of document B, signed by the Head of Department, who gave you document C, then send them all by post with a verified stamp, and document D!

And don’t smile!

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9.  OKTOBERFEST AND DRINKING BEER!

Beer in Germany isn’t a joke.
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Ha! If there’s one other thing that Germans do well, it’s drink beer!

Beer in Germany isn’t a joke.

And neither is Oktoberfest!

Are Bavarians really Germans? How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Some people would have you believe that Oktoberfest is only known in Bavaria.

And that the Bavarians aren’t really Germans!

But it isn’t true.

And I should know ‘cos I’m more German than the Germans. So there!

And for goodness sake. Whatever you do, please don’t order water at the bar.

It’s weird!

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10.  BE INFORMED ABOUT GERMAN HISTORY!

Learning how to be a German is lots of fun, but if you want to be a real German, you’ll have to know and understand your history.

All of the history. Including the horrible bits.

That’s it for now.

Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

See you next week!

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HOW TO BE A GERMAN – 10 WAYS TO DO IT!

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yay!

October & November is going to be thrilling!

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!
Claudia Schiffer – Paris 1989 – ©2017 Herb Ritts Foundation.

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Are you German? Do you have any German roots? Would you like to be a German? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!
© Enrico Verworner

It’s October!

In a few days, Germany will celebrate the Re-Unification of Germany, otherwise known as, German Unity Day or Der Tag der Deutschen Einheit!

This most important day will take place on October the 3rd.

October 3rd is a public holiday given to the German people to honour the Re-Unification of the two German States previously called the German Democratic Republic (GDR) or DDR (Deutsche Democratic Republic) otherwise known as East Germany, and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) or Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD), otherwise also known as West Germany!

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

I cannot under-estimate how much I love this city.

I mean, I shout about it loud enough and it was just four (4) years ago that I introduced myself to you on this blog, when I wondered what the heck Berlin was all about anyway!

Oh yeah, and then I wrote a cheeky article which most people didn’t seem to get. And the title? Germany is Boring.

Oops!

I mean, what is the big deal?

Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

I’ll tell you what the big deal is my good man.

It’s the fact that the city of Berlin.

THIS city of Berlin.

Has been together in peace and harmony for 28 years.

That’s right.

28 years!

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28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

WHY WAS THE BERLIN WALL SET UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The Berlin Wall after the opening of the Wall near Brandeburger Gate on November 11th, 1989!
@25 Archiv. Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung – Uwe Gerig

It’s a little complicated but after WWII, Germany was split and divided by the allies as punishment for Nazi Germany. And you only had to look at the city of Berlin to see who the Allies were namely; Great Britain, France, USSR and the United States.

It was not long before arguments and squabbling took place in the international political arena and simply put, the Eastern and Western Bloc decided to go their separate ways, and an Iron Curtain ensued.

East Germany went one step further and built a wall in Berlin, cutting a line through the entire centre of the city!

This wall was supposed to prevent East Berliners and citizens of East Germany from fleeing to the West, but the Wall was unable to stop the mass of people from escaping. As a result, in 1961, the ruling Communist Party in East Germany began adding more border fortifications to the Wall, creating a broad, many-layered system of barriers.

In the West, people referred to the border strip as the death strip because so many people were killed while trying to flee.

I have seen this death wall myself as I live in East Berlin and not 10 minutes away, is the main local park called Mauer Park.

The suburb of Prenzlauerberg where I live, is now enormously trendy and gentrified, and if you’re “in,” or want to be “in,” you strive to live here.

However, let it be noted that “Mauer” in German, means “Wall.”

The Death Strip in now East Berlin but formerly French – Soviet Germany!
©Joyce, S. A.

With the downfall of East Germany in 1989, the Berlin Wall that the Socialist Party tried to use to maintain its power, also fell. The Fall of the Wall marked the definitive end of its dictatorship.

The Berlin Wall enclosed West Berlin from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989.

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STREETS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL?

The Berlin Wall.
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

A couple of years ago, I wrote about one of my favourite places, and where I first lived in Berlin – Kreuzberg. You can read all about it right here! In my post, I mentioned that Kreuzberg had the Berlin Wall running right through the middle of it and that during the happy confusion, when the Wall actually fell, young people were leaving the East to go West, or leaving the West to go East!

In fact, I liked Kreuzberg so much that when I first made a documentary about being a British person in Berlin, we did the filming there!

OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

In Prenzlauer Berg where I live now, we’re about twenty (20) minutes from the original East-West border, and about ten (10) minutes from the first border crossing on the bridge of Bornholmer Straße. If you’ve ever since the videos where East Berliners were running through the border with everyone clapping and giving out free beer, it was that one!

I always take my friends to where the original wall used to be!

And let me tell you.

I always weep tears of joy because even though I wasn’t in Berlin when the Berlin Wall actually fell, living in Berlin means that I’m able to touch, see and sometimes smell, what it was like to live here pre-1989!

Potsdamer Platz today!
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

In fact, I can still remember when Potsdamer Platz was nothing more than wasteland and a piece of the border strip known as No Man’s Land. And looked like it too!

Not far off from Prenzlauer Berg, is a street called Bernauer Strasse, also known as Bernauer Straße!

Bernauer Straße as part of the Berlin Wall in 1961 – Frank Baake © Thomas Gade

As you can see, the Berlin Wall used to go right through it!

In fact, it was pretty horrid for all concerned, as you could actually see the other side of the Wall from your kitchen window, but you couldn’t go to the Western side without being shot!

Smashing through the wall! ©frizztext
Smashing through the wall!
©frizztext

Imagine the frustration, pain, and horror.

Many people tried to escape to freedom and found ways to be creative by sailing across in a hot air balloon, digging tunnels underground, pretending to have a funeral and lowering the “dead” person into a pit, hiding inside the seated lining of a Volkswagen car, etc. All for a life of freedom.

Not much of the Wall is left today, which was chipped off and destroyed almost in its entirety, however, three (3) long sections are still standing:

The Topography of Terror. You can still see parts of the Berlin Wall right behind it!
©Britta Scherer

An 80-metre-long (260 ft) piece of the first (westernmost) wall at the now Topography of Terror, but which used to be the site of the former Gestapo headquarters!

But obviously, the original building was razed to the ground.
The Berlin Wall, otherwise known as, East Side Gallery!

A longer section of the second (easternmost) wall along the River Spree near the Oberbaumbrücke in Kreuzberg / Friedrichshain, which you can see throughout the 1988 cult film Run Lola Run, otherwise known as, East Side Gallery!

Bernauer Straße in both East & West Berlin!
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

 

And a third section that is partly reconstructed, in the north at Bernauer Straße, which was turned into a memorial in 1999.

And of course, isolated fragments, lampposts, a few watchtowers, and other elements, remain throughout various parts of the city!

On the border between East & West Berlin in Germany.

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SO HOW DID THE BERLIN WALL ACTUALLY FALL?

It’s easy to forget that this situation was only 28 years ago. Most of you reading this blog, are probably older!

Let’s get some history!


2 May

Hungary begins dismantling the fortifications on the border to Austria.People demonstrate against the election rigging in front of the Sophienkirche (church).


7 May

Local elections in the GDR. Opposition groups prove that the results were faked. People demonstrate against the election rigging in East Berlin on the seventh day of every subsequent month.


4 September

First Monday Demonstration in Leipzig. 1,200 people gather outside St. Nicholas’ Church. Their demands include freedom of travel and democracy.


9 /10 September

New Forum’s initial call-out becomes a signal for change. Further grassroots movements follow.


11 September

Hungary officially opens its western border for GDR citizens, risking a breach in its diplomatic relations with East Berlin.


30 September

West Germany’s foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher informs the East German refugees in the Prague embassy, that they will be allowed to leave the GDR.


3 October

The GDR government bans travel to Czechoslovakia without passports and visas, to stem the mass exodus. Special trains transport people from the Prague and Warsaw embassies to the West, through the GDR. There are violent clashes with police along the railway line, as well as in Dresden.


7. October

On the 40th anniversary of the GDR, several thousand people demonstrate in Berlin outside the Palace of the Republic.  In numerous East German towns and cities, similar protests are broken up by force.


9 October

Despite fear of military repression of the Monday Demonstration, 70,000 people take to the streets in Leipzig. The police, military and civilian forces do not intervene.


11 October

The single ruling political party calls for people to stay in the GDR, offering a “dialogue” concerning the country’s further development.


16 October

The number of people at the Monday Demonstration in Leipzig doubles. The security forces do not intervene.


18 October

Erich Honecker is forced to resign after 18 years in office. Egon Krenz is made the new secretary-general of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).


24 October

Krenz is also elected chairman of the State Council and the National Defence Council. 12,000 people demonstrate against his appointment in Berlin that evening.


30 October

300,000 people take part in the Leipzig Monday Demonstration.


4 November

The largest demonstration in the history of the GDR takes place in Berlin.


7 November

The government of the GDR, and the Council of Ministers collectively resign.


8 November

The Central Committee Politburo, the highest body in the GDR, resigns. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl links economic and financial aid for the GDR to three conditions: the opposition must be legalised, free elections must take place, and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) must renounce its claim to sole authority.


9 November

The Wall falls, prompted by a vague, but now famous, announcement of new travel regulations at a press conference. Tens of thousands of East Berliners rush to the checkpoints and force the border open.


22 December

The Berlin Wall is officially opened at Brandenburg Gate. The first concrete section is removed from its beams at 0.30 a.m.


23 December

The offices issuing passes for the GDR in West Berlin close for good. West Germans no longer need a visa, or have to change a certain amount of money, to enter the East.


1990 Chronology


31 August

The Unification Treaty is signed in East Berlin.


3 October

Germany celebrates the “Day of German Unity” also known as “Re-Unification Day.”


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28 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

Climbing up the Berlin Wall for Freedom! Freedom!!

It was the people who took to the streets en masse and courageously resisted a dictatorship, enabling both the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Peaceful Revolution.

The 28th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall is important because Berlin will continue to invite locals, expats, eyewitnesses who were here, and people of the world, to participate in the anniversary celebrations, and to tell personal stories about the Berlin Wall.

Outside Bernauer Straße in Berlin. Everyone is going to be here!

Everyone is going to be here!

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ANYTHING ELSE?

Yep! The Festival of Lights!

Festival of Lights ©Kerstin Röhner

Once a year, Berlin’s world famous sights and monuments become the canvas for spectacular light and video projections.

From 06.10.17 – 15.10.17, the Festival of Lights will transform Berlin’s most famous landmarks and historical monuments through light projections and video art whereby different artists will light up the capital, and illuminate buildings in many parts of the city!

Not only that, but the Festival of Lights also includes various art and music events, photography workshops, open house opportunities at selected buildings, and charity events, as well as guided tours by bus, boat and on foot!

Most of the participating monuments will be focused on the city centre, and will be illuminated from 19:00 until midnight.

Every day!

For a full list of participating buildings, maps, and photographic displays, go to the official Festival of Lights website here!

WHAT IF THE BERLIN WALL ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Two sides and periods, of the Berlin Wall.

As if!!

Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

28 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL: BERLIN, I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO!

Festival of Lights ©Alexander Meier

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the currywurst and bratwurst that I’m sure to be happily scoffing in the next few weeks, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yipee!

October & November is going to be smashing.

The Berlin Wall – 28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Have you ever been to Berlin? Do you remember where you were when the Berlin Wall Fell. Where were you in 1989? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, and Nils Jürgens
©Getty Images

I’m back!

Have you been blown away by the picture above?

I know I have!

Yep!

The British Berliner met Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

I mean,

Omigosh!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Let me just say.

Being a British expat living in Berlin, is a most wonderful thing!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Being British means that you get to go on German TV and talk about The Queen. You get to be in a documentary focused on British people and get a whole chunk of it, about yourself i.e. Me! You get invited to the British Embassy for drinks, a bit of a natter, and to celebrate Ascot, as well as to the Christmas service of the Deutscher Bundestag – otherwise known as the National Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany! You get invited to the oldest university in Berlin so that you can discuss the political and economic issues on Brexit and the EU. You get featured on Germany’s biggest newspaper, and then flown to London by the BBC!

And then the icing on the cake in my opinion, is when you get a letter in the post, summoning you to an “invitation only” event organised for Their Royal Highnesses William, The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge!

Kate Middleton and Prince William – the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, greeting fans in Berlin
©DPA

To say I was excited, is to say the very least.

We were all literally jumping up and down!

Of course.

I mean strolling briskly, blushing and flapping slightly. No jumping around, collapsing and screaming.

We are British after all.

I’m British!

And we aim to keep a coolness about us on the outside while in a sense of panic and dismal anxiety on the inside!

What is it to be British?

A few years ago, I wrote a piece about How to Be British. And you were all extremely interested.

Most of the world seem to be fascinated by all things British and Germany is no exception, and who isn’t curious and fascinated by the Brits who actually live in Germany.

Of which I am one!

Berlin – very British – rbb

Need I remind you that I am The British Berliner?

Need I tell you that being British and also living in the city of Berlin makes a rather interesting combination?

And it all makes perfect sense.

Regardless of Brexit, being British is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Britain is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Being British is to have centuries behind what makes Britain today.

Being British is to welcome and linger on what is old such as cream teas, strawberries in the summer, and cricket as well as what is new, such as an Indian curry, the Notting Hill Carnival and BritPop!

At the Jane Austen Festival

Being British is to understand the issue of what is fair, true and right and what it is to be “a true gentleman,” to keep your word and be “a real lady.”

Being British is surely not about winning the race and becoming first, but about taking part, and shaking the hand of your opponent in “good combat.”

On the cricket field at one of my best friend’s wedding on the Isle of Wight.
In the UK! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Being British is about getting the first round in of a pint of beer, drinking champagne on a sunny day in the park and drinking Pimms on a cricket pitch during a wedding, on the Isle of Wight.

Yes, being British means being the people from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the surrounding islands of the United Kingdom, fifteen (15) other realms from the Commonwealth which include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, fourteen (14) British Overseas Territories including Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands, seven (7) Australian external territories, two (2) New Zealand dependent territories, two (2) New Zealand associated states, and previously Hong Kong that was ceremoniously but reluctantly handed back to China in 1997!

William & Kate in love
©AFP/Getty Images

Being British is accepting that the Royal Family are part and parcel of what makes the United Kingdom unique, and that William and Kate are going to take the monarchy into the next generation of young Brits and Britain today!

Being British means being me!

HOW I MET THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND – PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE!

 

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince William & Prince George
©PA/WireDPA.

I know you want to know all about this but first, just who are William & Kate?

WHO IS PRINCE WILLIAM?

Prince William – the Duke of Cambridge
©Clärchens Ballhaus

Prince William, otherwise known as the Duke of Cambridge, is the second in line to the throne and the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales.

His Royal Highness is married to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, with whom he has two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

The Duke of Cambridge used to work as an Air Ambulance Pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, in addition to undertaking a number of charitable activities and projects and carrying out public duties in support of The Queen.

WHO IS KATE MIDDLETON?

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge
©Art Fund Museum

Kate Middleton, otherwise known as the Duchess of Cambridge, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011.

Her Royal Highness has two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

As well as undertaking royal duties in support of The Queen, both in the UK and overseas, The Duchess devotes her time to supporting a number of charities and organisations.

Isn’t it funny that even though the Royal Couple have been married for six (6) years, we all still continue to call her Kate Middleton!!

WHY WERE THEY ON A ROYAL VISIT TO GERMANY?

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge – arrive in Berlin with their children – Prince George & Princess Charlotte
©Robin Nunn

Well, it wasn’t only an official visit but one in which the children – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – came along too. And of course, the history of Britain and Germany is pretty long.

Being part German n’ all!

Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!

I mean, the Royal Family today stems from the Prussian Bavarian Saxony root of Queen Victoria from the House of Hannover (after whom I am named as another Young Victoria…) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (in Bavaria, Germany)!

And as Prince William himself said at the exclusive Garden Party to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, hosted at the British Ambassadorial Residence in Berlin, Our visit will reflect, and I hope reinforce, the strong and wide-ranging ties between Britain and Germany. These include political, cultural, historical, commercial, sporting, academic and scientific links. 

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge at the British Ambassadorial Residence Garden Party in Berlin
©Getty Images

The United Kingdom and Germany proudly share the same values as open and democratic societies, and the same determination to champion those values and to defend them – not least through our very close defence and security partnerships. Today, we share a fundamental interest in the peace and prosperity of the continent of Europe to which we both belong. 

This relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany really matters.  It is the product of many years of working closely together.  It will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union.  I am confident we shall remain the firmest of friends.”

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days – GB / UK.

And since we all love the Queen, there was a message from her to us, in Germany too.

Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all of you gathered for this special Garden Party, on the occasion of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official visit to Germany.

We have fond memories of our five State Visits to Germany, from our first in 1965 to our most recent in 2015. Over the course of those fifty years, British-German relations have thrived, allowing us to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the 21st century together.

I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will experience the beauty of this country and the warmth of its people when they visit Berlin, Hamburg and Heidelberg.

I hope you all have a most enjoyable evening.

 – Elizabeth R”

You simply can’t get better than that!

THE INVITATION! THE INVITATION!!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Well as you can see above, Prince William and Kate Middleton came to Germany.

Not only that, but yours truly aka – The British Berliner – was one of the distinguished invited guests!

I know!

The invitation was sent to me by the British Ambassador in Berlin, and the Director of the British Council Germany.

Shakespeare Lives and there’s the living proof.
Oh yeah. The skull! ©Frank Böster – The Music Producer – Behind The Couch Studio

I was very honoured.

I received the invitation months ago, but we weren’t allowed to talk about it, so the only person I told, was my brother – The Writer! 

Having said that, you won’t believe how many journalists called my house, and sent me messages asking me about what was going on, where the location was, and even if they could come along as my guest!

I haven’t lost my marbles you know!

Yeah right!

I haven’t lost my marbles you know!

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, at Clärchens Ballhaus – Berlin!

Anyhoo.

On the day, I left bright and early as we were given strict instructions that entry would be for only thirty (30) minutes, and after that, no entry for you!

And official invitations plus passports, would be necessary.

That happened quite a few times and security was enormously heavy!

Oh yeah, our venue was in the beautiful 1895 Clärchens Ballhaus. 

Clärchens Ballhaus – One of the last ballrooms in Berlin. Very shabby chic!

The Ballhaus is one of the last originally preserved ballrooms in Berlin, a wonderful authentic piece of history, tradition, and charm. Very shabby chic!

A perfect example of what the Royal Couple, and incidentally, Berlin is all about! 

Once inside, I was offered some champagne and I made my way to the terrace where “everybody” was.

And for the first time ever, I looked around and I couldn’t see a single person that I knew. This event was serious stuff.

Until I did!

Phew!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him!
©Thomas Wlaschiha

And while quaffing more champagne and chatting to people, I noticed a tall man walk quietly in.

Not that man, but Tom Wlaschiha!

If you’re a Game of Thrones nut like I am, you’ll know him as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their their appearance at will…!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him.

And.

He’s very charming.

Tell me the secrets. Pleeeeease!
©Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha

I tried to get him to tell me some secrets about the plot of Season 7 on Game of Thrones, but he was very professional and wouldn’t reveal anything, so we spoke about the joys and advantages of living in Berlin instead!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

And then we were summoned into the Ballroom.

Could this be it?

Nope!

British DJ Goldierocks – #Royal Visit Germany #Freundship

First, a gathering of cultural celebration.

After all, this visit was about international friendship and so the Director of the British Council Germany – Rachel Launay – came out and spoke a few words of how the evening would be, and to introduce the various factions that made the evening occur, as well as a few guidelines on etiquette regarding the Royal Couple.

And then.

It happened.

And then it happened. Prince William and Kate Middleton just entered the room at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

I saw this tall fellow stride in.

And a few paces behind him was a slim pretty girl.

Yep!

Prince William and Kate Middleton had just entered the room.

Scream!

Silently of course!

Omigosh!

Prince William, & Kate Middleton being walked through by their Aide – Nils Jürgens & Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner on the edge of the photo!
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk
Kate Middleton, Prince William & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

They were huddled to the nearest table which was right next to me!

You can just about see the red cover of my mobile phone peeking out!

Yes!

Next to me!

OMG!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with the Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

I was standing right next to their Royal Highnesses, and the only thing standing between Prince William and Kate and myself, was their Aide – Nils Jürgens!

That’s the taller man standing to the right of Kate Middleton. And very good looking he was too. Ahem!

The evening was all a bit of a blur. I’m not easily flustered, but I spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves but do forgive me, as I wasn’t joking about the blurriness of a shaking hand!

Prince William at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – Duchess of Cambridge & Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha with Sam Riley at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge & Prince William at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Prince William having a drink & Kate Middleton at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton & Prince William right in front of me at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

At one point, both William and Kate were standing right in front of me, and I couldn’t pluck up the courage to say a single thing as I didn’t want to seem forward. I just stood there with mouth agape!

For once in my life, I was utterly speechless!

They must have thought I was slighty deranged grinning like a Cheshire Cat and clapping profusely!

They were wonderful.

Kate Middleton & Prince William looking like any other couple having a great time at a party!
©bernd schönberger

And very, very genuine.

A really lovely couple admired and loved, with good reason.

They really were quite delightful indeed.

And their security team were marvellous.

Every single guest that was present, got close-ups and selfies, of the Royal Couple!
© bernd schönberger
Kudos to the security team who were great, didn’t manhandle or scream at anyone, & were wonderfully calm, professional & extremely polite!
©bernd schönberger

Every single guest that was present got close-ups and selfies, and kudos to the security team who were great, who didn’t manhandle or scream at anyone, as you might get at the White House… but were wonderfully calm, professional (just trying to do my job ma’am), and extremely polite.

Prince William and Kate Middleton – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “worked” the room, shook hands with people, went to meet the UK DJ – Goldierocks – and then they were off!

Meanwhile, I had stopped being flustered and looking like a complete idiot, and began to work the room myself, chatting and meeting new people!

Delicious cocktails after Prince William & Kate Middleton left Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Let’s have cocktails together after Prince William & Kate Middleton left Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

We all drank a few cocktails, and patted ourselves on the back on a very successful evening!

Then I took the tram around the corner, and in twenty-four (24) minutes I was home!

What a charming evening!

Wow!

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Thanks for inviting me!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

HOW I MET THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND – PRINCE WILLIAM, KATE & THE MANY-FACED GOD!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute royal own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

Will you?

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

Have you ever met Prince William or Kate Middleton? Were you amazed by my news? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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