Princesses go on a Mini adventure to convince Germans we really do rather like them after all

Forget the Europe bashing, Cameron has new weapon for trade charm offensive

With speculation rife in Germany about the UK’s imminent departure from Europe, royal princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were dispatched to Berlin today where they launched a last minute campaign to persuade Germans to visit and invest in Britain before it drifts off into the mid Atlantic.

The sisters, aged 24 and 22, kicked off  their “Great Britain Tour” by driving one of  the German car giant BMW’s Minis through Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate today.

In an attempt to lend a subtle British note to the car’s German-financed origins, the Mini was painted with an all-over Union Jack.

“The campaign is our national effort to get people to come to the United Kingdom and enjoy everything we have to offer,” Princess Beatrice told a press conference held at Berlin’s British Embassy, “We’ve got so much we’d love people around the world to come and enjoy – beautiful countryside, lively cities and some of the world’s most wonderful museums,” she added.

The BMW Mini will tour Germany’s 16 federal states over the coming months as part of  the UK Government-sponsored “Great Britain” campaign which aims to promote foreign tourism, trade and investment. “The Mini we are about to drive is just one example of the great things Britain and Germany can do together,” Princess Beatrice claimed in a reference to BMW’s Mini production plant in Oxford.

German observers noted that the tour was being launched on the eve of David Cameron’s anxiously awaited speech on Britain’s future relationship with Europe and amid real fears in Germany that a many UK politicians and large sections of the public are bent on Britain leaving the EU.

The princesses were said to have been personally invited to promote the tour by Mr Cameron. “They are the fifth and sixth in line for the throne and are now part of that group of royals who are willing to go out and lend their support to the UK,” said a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman.

But it emerged today that their visit to Berlin was being funded entirely by their father, Prince Andrew, who through his former role as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, is no stranger to  promoting British interests himself, despite the criticism he invoked while doing the job.

Prince Andrew held the unpaid position for ten years before stepping down in July 2011 after he was photographed walking through Central Park in New York with his close friend, the billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein who had just been released from prison for soliciting under aged girls.

The Prince was accused of wasting taxpayers’ money by staying in five star hotels and on chartering private jets  which earned him the nickname “Air Miles Andy”. He was also accused of  exploiting connections he developed with wealthy trading partners for his own ends. He sold his house for £15 million - £3 million  more than the asking price- to an oil tycoon from Kazakhstan whom he joined on goose shooting excursions. The prince has denied any impropriety.

Now out of the limelight himself, Prince Andrew is believed to have lobbied for his daughters to spearhead the launch of the “Great Britain” campaign in Berlin. He is rumoured to have been fighting a “rear guard” action to ensure that they represent the Royal Family more often in future.  Today’s Berlin campaign launch was their debut event.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner

£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy