It is not every day that a stealth warship berths in the middle of London. It is even more rare for that warship to be German, with all the baggage that brings. But a host of factors conspired to bring this ship to London.
The Sachsen-class frigate F219, also called Sachsen, was in London last week carrying the prime minister of Saxony to deliver the Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony to Prince Edward, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, descended from the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. If you’re seeing a pattern, that’s deliberate.
After a year and a half in dry dock, the Sachsen needed somewhere to go, and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II provided an occasion for her to visit London; Prince Edward is a patron of the British-German Association, which seeks to foster warm relations between the two countries, and of the Dresden Trust, which is involved in the rebuilding of Dresden. The visit and award recognize the work of reconciling the two nations.
Without dwelling too long on the odd sight of seeing a German warship in London’s waters, here are some pictures from the visit: