Prince William
Britain's Prince William attends a reception at the Guildhall following a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral for Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday in London, Britain June 10, 2016. Reuters/Hannah McKay/Pool

A dashing Prince William made an appearance in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Tuesday to attend the 70th anniversary celebration of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NSW).

NSW was established by the British Military Government in a mission called “Operation Marriage” on Aug. 23, 1946, following the end of the Second World War. Since then, the British Forces Germany (BFG) has resided in the region. Approximately 27,000 British citizens are currently residing in the state and about 1,400 British companies and businesses have established themselves there.

At the gala the Duke of Cambridge has met for the first time German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had just returned from a post-Brexit meeting with French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

In his speech, Prince William cited the exceptional close ties between Britain and NRW, which have remained relevant and important up to the present day. “ In short, what began 70 years ago as a relationship of necessity between an occupying power and a region in ruin, is today a partnership of genuine friendship and of massive mutual benefit,” he said. He also emphasised that despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union, their partnership with Germany will continue.

Prior to the event, the 34-year-old prince watched a military parade of the BFG and cheerfully greeted the crowds and even posed for some photographs.

This is the first public appearance of the royal since July 24 when he and wife Kate Middleton watched the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth to support Sir Ben Ainslie’s British team. Since then, he had been busy with a few family trips and doings shifts as an air ambulance pilot. The royal couple is set to visit Canada in the coming months, taking Prince George and Prince Charlotte along, as recently announced by the Kensington Palace.

The visit to Düsseldorf is Prince William’s second official trip to Germany after attending the FIFA World Cup there in 2006.