A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
Have you been blown away by the picture above?
I know I have!
The British Berliner met Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!
Let me just say.
Being a British expat living in Berlin, is a most wonderful thing!
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!
To say I was excited, is to say the very least.
We were all literally jumping up and down!
I mean strolling briskly, blushing and flapping slightly. No jumping around, collapsing and screaming.
We are British after all.
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!
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.
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!
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.”
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!
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!
I know you want to know all about this but first, just who are William & Kate?
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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!
The invitation was sent to me by the British Ambassador in Berlin, and the Director of the British Council Germany.
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!
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.
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!
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.
He’s very charming.
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!
And then we were summoned into the Ballroom.
Could this be it?
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.
I saw this tall fellow stride in.
And a few paces behind him was a slim pretty girl.
Prince William and Kate Middleton had just entered the room.
Silently of course!
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!
Next to me!
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!
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.
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, 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!
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!
Thanks for inviting me!
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute royal own!
I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!
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!
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A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
See you in Berlin.
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Wow! Very exciting!
Thanks very much Kathy! It really was, and I couldn’t even tell people! I don’t mind telling you that I felt really chuffed when I walked right through the adoring crowds of fans, hangers-ons, and other members of the press! 😉
Wow, very cool Victoria! I love that you got to meet GOT’s the many faced god on top of the royals!
Thanks so much Megan my love! It was very, very cool indeed! And since I’m a GoT nerd, meeting not only Prince William and Kate Middleton, but also Tom Wlaschiha – Jaqen H’ghar – too, was really the cherry on the cake!
Berlin gets a lot of movie stars either moving here, working here, or popping in and out! Once, I walked right past Rihanna at my local French Department store – Galeries Lafayette. I was just shopping n’ stuff, and noticed that the staff started twittering. On looking up, there she was. She practically brushed my shoulder. She’s really tiny too! 😀
Oh wow how cool! I love the royal family haha 🙂
Thanks so much! Me too! The Royal Family are simply the best, and both William and Kate are so nice and normal! 😀
My congratulations, Victoria.
Thanks so much Victor! 😀
Victoria what an amazing event you got yourself invited to???…rubbing shoulders with the Royals and also get to meet the GOT star. Loved all your photos, great write up:)
Thanks very much Gilda!
Ha! Ha! “rubbing shoulders”…Yep! A fantastic evening. 😀
What a once-in-a-lifetime experience you had! William and Kate are very good for Britain, aren’t they? They look like a lovely couple — and Kate certainly represents the royal family well. We know they also work hard on official duties (so it’s not just a life of living like a celebrity). They stayed near us at Government House when they visited Victoria and Canada last year; we got a glimpse of them in their car as they drove by. Anyway, a nice invitation you received :-).
Thanks so much guys! You’re very kind. 😀
You’re absolutely right. William & Kate are fantastic ambassadors for Great Britain, as is Harry! And they all have a good head on their shoulders, and understand the importance of their presence both at home, and abroad. I remember seeing all the media attention when the couple went to Canada last year. Everyone was happy to see them and generous in spirit. It must have been very nice to have them just a whisker away! 😉 Unlike the Princess Beatrice & Princess Eugenie of York, who simply haven’t a clue, or understand their purpose. In that, the Queen excels and is just marvellous. She will never abdicate, and mustn’t. I hope she lives as long as the Queen Mother who was 101!
Yes, I am amazed by your news!!! I try not to be super fascinated with the goings-on of the royal family, but they are always in the news. I think I would be shaky about it, too! I was married during the same month and year as they were, so I’d probably bring that up quite awkwardly.
And good for you getting around the room and networking. I doubt I’d be so courageous!
Thank you so much Natalie!
I’m a staunch monarchist. Always have been and always will! I mean, the Queen was in Berlin just 2 years ago, and now, William & Kate. And in both cases, I was somehow involved!
But Wow! Married in the same month & year as that of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge? Unforgettable! Yeah, I was a bit shaky at first, but who wouldn’t? It’s like meeting the Beatles, at their height of fame! However, I soon pulled myself together as I’m both British and professional, and the show must go on! 😀
You certainly had a night to remember–congrats on a special invite! 🙂
I know members of Germany’s non-reigning Hohenzollern family and related branches are still around just not as public as the British royals.
Thanks very much Elisa!
It was such a brilliant evening. And lucky you for knowing the Hohenzollern family!
I don’t know much about them I’m afraid, but I had a peek! 😉 Luckily, they still have their titles, and being a Prussian Prince & related to Queen Victoria, is still pretty awesome! The Windsors have always been foresighted and smart, being one step ahead of world affairs and the love or loss, of the monarchy in Europe. And whatever happens in the future, both William & Kate will survive it, and prosper. 😀
That must have been very exciting for you! I know how much you like the royals. You know l have no idea who this actor is since l don’t watch GOT, BUT, had l seen him on the street, l would have given him a second look :-). From the pictures, they cover up his lovely face.
Thanks very much KemKem! Indeed it was. Enormously exciting!
And yes, Thomas Wlaschiha is a bit of alright! 😀 Mind you, in Game of Thrones, pretty much every main or secondary character, is gorgeous one way or the other! 😉 😉
That must have been a blast, Vic! Is Kate as beautiful in real life as it is in the pictures? 🙂
Thanks so much Agness!
It really was! Is Kate as beautiful in real life as she is in the pictures? Yes! She’s much prettier in real life, and very nice & soft-spoken. A girl after my own heart! 😀
Love your blog and I greatly enjoyed your excitement and pleasure being invited to a royal event !
You seemed to have had a wonderful time also meeting Tom as well the festivities.
I noticed in one of your pictures, the Duke of Cambridge is talking to a group of people, did you not see that the man with the dark hair is actor Sam Riley ?
I ask only because if so, it wasn’t mentioned, if not because you were so excited and thoroughly enjoying the day that it got past you but I noticed him in your photo! – Mrs. E. E. Zayas
Thanks so much for your lovely comments Mrs Zayas!
Yes! I knew Sam Riley was there, but that particular picture was a bit fuzzy and he was in the background, but I named him in another photograph with Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha, where you could see him clearly!
Sam lives in Berlin. In fact, a lot of really good actors either live in Berlin or pass through for a little while too. It’s that type of city! And everyone is pretty cool and chilled and in the most case, leave them alone. 😉
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What an amazing story and experience! I would have been speechless and shaking too 🙂 Definitely an evening to remember.
Thanks so much Amy!
It was a pretty awesome evening! I’m usually quite a “nothing-can-phase-me” person, but that evening, I was dabbing my forehead and shaking like a leaf, until I got it together and became myself once aagain! And meeting a Game of Thrones star was simply, the icing on the cake! 😀
OMG, you met the Faceless Man AND were in the same room with Kate and Wills … on the same night?!?! What a lucky, lucky girl you are, Victoria. I was on the ship next to them in Canada once while they were on their Royal Tour and I got some photos of them with a long lens. I’ve never felt like such a paparazzo!
Thanks so much Kristin! I was delighted! William & Kate AND the Faceless Man. Christmas had come early, and with cherry on the top!
They were really lovely, and just so nice and normal. ‘Like any other couple. It was a wonderful night.
p.s. OMG! You were a paparazzo! 😉
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DUDE. Seething with envy here 🙂
Now, when are you gonna hang out with Meghan?
Haw! Haw! Haw! Thanks so much Anna. ‘Waiting for my invite as we speak! 😉
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That’s awesome! I admire them, such a beautiful, poised, wonderful couple. I think they will do great things in their lives. Such an honor to meet them, lucky you!
Thanks very much Heather!
They’re such a nice couple and both of them were charming, and so down to earth! The way they interacted with everyone was really lovely. You wouldn’t have guessed that they were the future King & Queen. I felt very honoured indeed. 😀
And I love them. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, too! 😀
p.s. ‘Hopefully, I don’t sound creepy!!!! 😉
hahaha not creepy, I love them too 🙂
😀 😀 😀 😀
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