Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2023

Malta is a Mediterranean gem that was ‘very special’ to Queen Elizabeth II | Travel News | Travel

Like most members of the , travelled the world throughout her lifetime and even lived abroad for a short period in the 1940s.

The late queen uprooted her life with her husband in the early days of their marriage to spend a somewhat carefree two years in .

Renowned for its remote location in the Sea, the now Independent island country is the largest of its kind on the Maltese archipelago. Joined by Gozo and Comino, the unique location boasts expansive beaches, panoramic coastal views and an impressive 7000 years of history.

While Malta’s impressive Greek-style landscape makes it easy to see why Elizabeth and the former Duke of Edinburgh loved it so much, the royal couple were said to have held it so dearly because of the lifestyle.

After moving there in 1949, the rocky Mediterranean island found a special place in the late Queen’s heart as a place for her to truly relax.

Now loved by the average tourist for the very same reason, Elizabeth associated Malta with some of her most fond memories.

Speaking of it following a trip back to her former home in 2015, she said: “Visiting Malta is always very special for me I remember happy days here with Prince Philip when we were first married.”

During their two-year stint on the remote island, the couple resided in an extravagant limestone villa complete with a roof terrace, an underground war shelter and borders of orange trees. The property was owned by Prince Phillip’s uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who had previously lived in the property just outside of the capital, Valetta.

The Royal home was an 18th-century building set on a hilltop only accessible on foot via a narrow lane. Now owned by the Maltese government, Heritage Malta plans to restore it to its full splendour over a five-year period as a memorial for the late queen and her life on the island.

For holidaymakers, however, there is no shortage of places to stay on the island.

According to Tripadvisor, hotel deals for a trip to Valetta in late August 2023 start at around £100 per night, with a range of bed and breakfast, self-catered and inclusive options to choose from.

When it comes to things to do in the Mediterranean spot, there’s no shortage of sights to see and exquisite cuisine to enjoy.

Tripadvisor reviewers recommend Spinola Bay, the Classic Car Museum, and St John’s Co-Cathedral Qawra Point Beach.

During her two years on the island, the late Queen enjoyed dancing in the ballroom of the Hotel Meridien Phoenicia, according to its PR and marketing manager, Christine Darmanin.

She said: “While in Malta, she [the Queen] spent many an evening dancing away in our Grand Ballroom with Prince Philip. The Queen re-visited the hotel during later years and will always be remembered fondly.”

The Barrakka Gardens were another serene spot loved by Elizabeth, and she would often visit to view the British Navy fleet enter the harbour there.

To this day, the upper gardens are open daily from 7am to 10pm and are freely accessible to the public. Here, they can soak up the same breathtaking views over Valetta that the former monarch once did as a young Princess.

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