Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal,
Members of the Consular Corps,
Mrs. Vice-President of the Hamburg Parliament,
Members of Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Many thanks for your invitation! I am always more than pleased to come to the Anglo-German Club on the Alster.
The British know how to put on a summer party in the best of style – even here in Hamburg, where the weather is rather British, as we all know - although some people may be unaware that we sometimes have wonderfully balmy summer evenings.
Every summer festival in celebration of the Queen’s Birthday is treasured for a long time, but that evening a year ago is certain to remain unforgotten. It was the day before the Brexit vote, and you know how much I had hoped that Great Britain would remain in the European Union.
We in Hamburg are very committed Europeans, which in part undoubtedly has to do with our tradition as part of the Medieval Hanseatic League, the world’s first successful free trade zone. And because we think and feel European, we will do everything we can to ensure that the economic bands and the friendship between Hamburg and Great Britain will continue in the future, even if the conditions have changed.
Hamburg is a good friend of Great Britain. And how important the British themselves find friendship can be seen, among other things, by the fact that some of the most famous songs from the UK express this in a very beautiful way. For example, there is “With a little help from my friends” by the Beatles (1967), or “Friends never say goodbye” by Elton John (1971), and naturally the Queen hit “Friends will be friends” (1986). You can add to the list later.
Word has gotten around that Hamburg is the most British city in Europe. Less known is the fact that equestrian sports are firmly rooted here as well.
Her Royal Highness, I am very pleased to be able to welcome you personally this evening to the Summer Festival in honor of the Queen. And I am also pleased that a British rider won the Dressur Derby in Hamburg at the end of May for the first time in 50 years. Emile Faurie received the highest number of points in the finale with horse changes with all three horses.
It is a tradition for us in Hamburg to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, but this year we can also drink a toast to the 65th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Our very best wishes and congratulations!
We have always been impressed by the way the House of Windsor, in the course of its 100-year history, has repeatedly worked toward freedom and for equal rights.
As Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, I would like to extend our most sincere congratulations to the House of Windsor, to Her Royal Highness, and to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.