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British royals meet Merkel, tour Berlin Holocaust memorial

British royals meet Merkel, tour Berlin Holocaust memorial

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BERLIN (AP) — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, toured Berlin's Holocaust memorial and visited the city's signature landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, as they kicked off a three-day visit to Germany.

Prince William and his wife, Kate, held Prince George and Princess Charlotte by the hand as they disembarked Wednesday from their plane at the German capital's Tegel airport. They arrived from Poland, their first stop on a two-country European trip that comes as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

The couple's first stop was the chancellery, where they had lunch with Merkel. Locals got a closer look at the royals as they visited the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of post-war Germany's Cold War division and its subsequent reunification.

They moved on to the nearby memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, a field of undulating concrete slabs. William and Kate were given a tour of the memorial's information center and met 96-year-old Holocaust survivor Leon Schwarzbaum, who showed them old family photos.

William and Kate are also scheduled to visit Heidelberg and Hamburg during their time in Germany.

In Poland on Tuesday, the royal couple visited the site of the Nazis' former Stutthof concentration camp.

Berlin memorial chief Uwe Neumaerker, who led the royals through the site in the German capital, was impressed that William, 35, made the two Holocaust site visits.

"He understands he is of a generation that must get to know this," Neumaerker said. "That is a signal."

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