Queen Elizabeth’s surprising gift after State Visit to Germany that King Charles likely won’t get

Queen Elizabeth’s surprising gift after visiting Germany in 1965 was incredibly unique but King Charles likely won't receive the same one

Queen Elizabeth’s surprising gift revealed. Seen here visiting Germany in 1965 side-by-side with King Charles in Germany in 2023
(Image credit: Future//Image 1: Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images//Image 2:Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth’s surprising gift after a State Visit to Germany is one that King Charles likely won’t get during his recent trip there. 

Throughout her 70-year reign the late Queen Elizabeth received quite a few impressive gifts that it’s hard to imagine being given. From the life-sized playhouse at the Royal Lodge in Windsor that she played in as a child to the birthday gift that sparked the Queen’s hobby of breeding corgis, so many of her presents are memorable. When it comes to gifts given by other countries, however, she often received a very different kind of gift. The Queen’s “excessive gift” she once apparently demanded from West Germany in 1978 was two coach horses. And the animal present theme started even before this special trip.

As revealed by the Royal Family website, Queen Elizabeth’s surprising gift after a State Visit to Germany over a decade earlier was also an animal. But we have a feeling that King Charles likely won’t receive one himself during his recent trip to Germany. 

Queen Elizabeth II with Paul Nevermann the mayor of Hamburg during a visit in 1965

(Image credit: Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Back in 1965 the Queen undertook a State Visit to West Germany as it was then and was presented with a canary. It’s not known exactly why a canary was chosen and the Queen was most closely associated with both dogs and horses throughout her life rather than birds. However, it was just one of many animal gifts she received which included two tortoises given to her in the Seychelles in 1972 and an elephant given the same year by the President of Cameroon as a Silver Wedding present. 

The Queen’s surprising gift of a canary is something we might not see replicated following King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s three-day State Visit to Germany from March 29-March 31. Given they traveled to Germany via the royal jet it’s perhaps very unlikely that King Charles or Queen Camilla would wish to fly a canary back with them on it. 

President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and First Lady Elke Büdenbender welcome King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort to Bellevue Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Whilst they might not receive this gift, they’ve already received huge honors from Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. They both received the Federal Order of Merit by President Steinmeier which is awarded in recognition of political, social, intellectual or economic achievements as well as for services to the nation in the fields of charity, social or philanthropic work. 

Eagle-eyed fans might’ve spotted them both wearing medals of this order at the State Banquet held on March 29. Queen Camilla’s favorite crown was brought out for this occasion and pinned to it was the Grand Cross of the Federal Order of Merit. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla at the state banquet in Germany with a close-up of the Federal Order of Merit

(Image credit: Future//Image 1: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty //Image 2: Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

King Charles wore his own attached to his jacket alongside his other medals and also wore the Federal Order of Merit 1st Class sash.The next day King Charles delivered a powerful speech to the German Bundestag, paying tribute to the partnership between the UK and Germany. 

“I can hardly begin to express the pride I feel in the strength of the partnership between our two countries. Germany, her people and distinctive culture have made such a profound impact on me,” he declared. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!