Dusseldorf, West Germany. "Willkommen Konigin Elisabeth" read the banner as Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, stepped off her plane at the Cologne-Bonn airport on May 18. It was to be a spectacular eleven-day state visit to West Germany. Not since the days of King Edward VII, 52 years and two devastating world wars ago, had a reigning British monarch set foot on German soil. To the German hosts, it was to be the longest and most expensive state visit in the Federal Republic's history. To the British guests, listening with serious expression to the strains of the welcoming "Deutschland uber Alles," history was being rewritten. British officialdom was here to forget the past. Here to make friends with a longtime bitter enemy and to gain acceptance in the eyes of Continental Europeans.
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