William and Kate's first state visit to Germany as a family
Love at first sight?
In 2001, William and Kate met at the University of St. Andrews. Could they have predicted at the time that they would one day become the most popular couple of the UK? Probably not. Although they both studied art history and had common interests, they were just good friends at the beginning. They even shared a flat in a student house, with two other flatmates.
William is second in line to the throne
The first son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, William was born on June 21, 1982. The Duke of Cambridge is second in the line of succession to the British throne, after his father, which made him one of the most sought-after bachelors of nobility when he was growing up.
Kate is from the wealthy middle class
Kate Middleton was born nearly half a year before William. Kate's parents, a flight dispatcher and a flight attendant, started their own party supplies business, from which they made a fortune. That's how they could afford to send their daughter to the best schools.
The infamous see-through dress
A key moment in William's and Kate's love story was a charity fashion show at St. Andrews in 2002. Kate strode down the catwalk in a see-through lace slip that caught William's eye. They became a couple in 2003. Nine years later, the iconic dress was auctioned for 78,000 pounds (nearly 90,000 euros, $101,000).
More than just an impressive rock
It happened in 2010: William proposed to Kate during a holiday in Kenya - presenting an 18-carat sapphire white gold ring encrusted with 14 diamonds. Beyond its material value, the ring has a strong sentimental value: It previously belonged to William's mother, Diana, who tragically died in 1997. The prince said that through the ring, his mother wouldn't miss out on his wedding day.
A true snapshot
According to star photographer Mario Testino, this well-known engagement photo of the couple was taken by coincidence. After a two-hour shoot, Testino still didn't feel he had the perfect picture. As the fiancés were about to leave, they hugged in front of a radiator. Testino's snapshot of their spontaneous and genuine embrace went around the world.
And the wedding bells ring
On April 29, 2011, William and Kate finally exchanged their vows. Her elegant 1950s-style dress was a real eye-catcher. Her veil was 2.7 meters (8.8 feet) long - five meters shorter than the one worn by Princess Diana. Kate Middleton then officially became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Two families were turned into one: After the wedding, the Windsors and the Middletons gathered for an official portrait in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
The offspring: Prince George
He looks just like his father: Little Prince George was born on July 22, 2013, at St. Mary's Hospital. It was the first time in a century that three successors to the throne were alive at the same time: Charles, his son William and his grandson George, who's pictured here at Pippa Middleton's wedding in May.
It's a girl! Princess Charlotte is born
On May 2, 2015, nearly two years after Prince George was born, London's Tower Bridge was lit up in pink to announce the birth of William and Kate's daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. The Royal Artillery Band played Stevie Wonder's song "Isn't She Lovely," and just like for her brother's birth, celebratory cannons were fired. The princess is already over a year old on this photo.
An unusual outfit to meet the US President
Former US President Obama didn't miss the opportunity to shake hands with the blue-blooded offspring. Appearing somewhat shy, George welcomed him in his bathrobe. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle offered him a special present for his birthday: a toy dog, a replica of the Obamas' pet Bo.
On a state visit in India
During their seven-day tour of India in 2016, William and Kate were given a traditional welcome at the Banganga Water Tank in Mumbai, where they let flower petals float. During their stay, they also participated in a game of cricket and went to visit a slum in Mumbai.
The picture-perfect family comes to Germany
The young royal family is definitely charming. That's why Foreign Minister Boris Johnson incited the couple to travel to Europe to symbolically extend a "hand of friendship" as Brexit negotiations begin. During their first joint state visit to Germany on July 19, even their cute children will be contributing to the charm offensive.
As "Brexit ambassadors," William and Kate are visiting Germany with their children, George and Charlotte. Here's more on what makes the family so charming.
Queen Elizabeth's last visit to Germany was during the summer of 2015. It was her fifth visit to the Federal Republic, which saw her handle a packed schedule, including a meeting with then-German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The ties between Germany and the UK have been continuously improving over the last few years, and both countries have expressed interest in maintaining these good relations even as the United Kingdom prepares its withdrawal from the European Union.
As popular figures from the royal family, William and Kate have taken on the role of "Brexit ambassadors." They were both in France last March. Their new European tour starts in Poland on July 17 and 18. They will be in Berlin on July 19, in Heidelberg the following day and finally in Hamburg on July 21.
The Windsors are also celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2017. Even though the British Royal House had already long been in existence, the royal family changed their name to Windsor on July 17, 2017.
They had previously used a German name: Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Their new name allowed the crown to survive during the First World War.
A terribly nice family
The concept of the "royal family" originated in the middle of the 19th century with Prince Albert, Queen Victoria and their nine children. Since then, not only is a queen or a king responsible for the British Empire, but a whole extended family. The Windsors have modernized and perfected this concept. Today, the Queen even accepts Camilla, the second wife of son Charles, into the family circle.
Monarchy in danger
George V (1865-1936, right) looked like his cousin Czar Nicholas II of Russia. But when the latter needed to abdicate after the 1917 Revolution, George V distanced himself and quickly withdrew the offer for political asylum for fear of unrest in his own kingdom. Nicholas II was assassinated shortly thereafter.
Stability in the face of war
As World War I continued, the reign of George V stabilized after the change of name to Windsor. While elsewhere monarchies crumbled, George V led his kingdom through an economic crisis, and granted numerous colonies independence within the Commonwealth.
After George V's death in 1936, his son Edward VIII succeeded him on the throne. His reign lasted only 326 days - the shortest in British history. Edward's impending marriage to American Wallis Simpson caused both a scandal and a constitutional crisis. The conservative government eventually forced him to abdicate.
The crisis continues
Edward's younger brother Albert stepped into the breach, and in 1937 was crowned King George VI. With his wife Elizabeth and his two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, George VI had a strong family behind him. He led the country through World War II, but was burdened with poor health. In 1952, the king died of arterial thrombosis.
Retreating at Windsor Castle
During World War II, the royal family stayed in solidarity with the deprived general populace by living only on food rations, for example. George stayed in London despite the bomb attacks and the damage to Buckingham Palace. He spent the weekends with the family in Windsor.
'We want the king!'
With their commitment to the war effort, the royal family became a symbol of British resistance to fascism. After Germany's capitulation on May 8, 1945, a jubilant crowd gathered before Buckingham Palace and screamed "We want the King!" The royals were at the height of their popularity.
Royal wedding draws the masses
In 1947, people flocked to the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten. The king's daughter proved to be a godsend for the British crown. Since her coronation in 1952, she has stood for continuity. A largely scandal-free marriage and four children have ensured the continuation of the Windsors at a time when many other monarchies have dissolved.
The unhappy heir to the throne
The somewhat doomed marriage between Prince William and Lady Diana ended in 1992 amid an unsightly media spectacle that harmed the prestige of the royal family. Their two sons had to cope not only with the divorce in 1996, but also the sudden death of their mother in 1997. It would be a long time before Prince Charles was again a respected royal family member.
Queen Elizabeth celebrates
In 2016, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 90th birthday (pictured), and in 2012, her diamond jubilee was celebrated. She has held the throne longer than any British monarch before her. Currently, she is the longest serving head of state in the world. Despite increasing criticism of the royal family from the media, the support of the monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II seems unbroken.
The dream royal couple
After his father's inglorious divorce and the tragic death of his mother, the private life of the queen's grandson William has drawn high media scrutiny. In Kate Middleton he has chosen a partner who can and wants to fulfill her role in the royal family - two young heirs included.
Charlotte and George: the next generation
The latest Windsor offspring have become media phenomena at a very young age. The "Prince George effect" describes Prince George's influence on business and pop culture - meaning whatever George wears sells. At the tender age of two, the prince has made GQ Magazine's list of the 50 Best Dressed Men in Britain.