Queen Elizabeth II heads to Frankfurt on Germany state visit

Thousands of cheering Germans welcomed Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday in Frankfurt, which she visited on a day trip that included a stop at the city's St. Paul's Church — considered the birthplace of German parliamentary democracy.

Church bells rang and a Frankfurt children's choir sang for the 89-year-old monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, as they visited the church and met more than 100 local citizens.

The royal couple then walked on a red carpet over to city hall where they had lunch with dignitaries, featuring local specialties from Hesse state and wines from the region. The queen waved to a crowd in the square outside from the building's balcony — often used in the past by German soccer teams to celebrate winning titles.

After the short four-hour trip, the queen and Prince Philip were returning to Berlin, where the British ambassador will host a garden party in honor of the queen later Thursday. They traveled to and from Frankfurt with German President Joachim Gauck aboard a German government plane.

At a banquet Wednesday night, Elizabeth was joined by Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of his trip to a Brussels summit of European Union leaders. Cameron is set to outline his hopes there Thursday for changes in Britain's relationship with the EU ahead of a referendum on whether to stay in the bloc.

The queen told banquet guests that "division in Europe is dangerous."