Association President

VILLA GUARDAMANGIA.



It has been recently announced that Villa Guardamangia, Her Majesty the Queen’s residence in Malta between 1949 and 1951, has been acquired by Heritage Malta for the price of 5 million Euros.
Her Majesty, then a newlywed Princess Elizabeth, used to spend long stays at the Villa during the two years when her husband was serving as an officer on H.M.S. Chequers, a C-Class Destroyer part of the Mediterranean Fleet.
 
The villa was at the time leased to  the Queen’s cousin and Prince Philip’s uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten who was then in command of the First Cruiser Squadron. It had been built in 1900 by Sir Augustus Bartolo, a lawyer and leading politician in Lord Strickland’s party in the inter-war years, as well as owner of the popular newspaper The Malta Chronicle. It was then sold to Joseph Schembri, a businessman, whose heirs have now sold it to Heritage Malta.




The Queen has fond memories of this residence where she spent many happy days in her early marriage years. A photo of the young married couple on the terrace in the back garden of the villa by Times of Malta photographer Frank Attard shows Prince Philip standing behind the Princess with his fingers showing an inverted V sign , which many at the time had interpreted as the princess being pregnant for the second time.


At present the villa is in dire need of restoration. It is hoped that when this is comp
lete, it will be opened for visitors. However , “Behind the Scenes Tours” are being organized by Heritage Malta for small groups of visitors with previous booking arrangements.
It should be an attraction especially to British visitors, being the only place outside Britain which Her Majesty has ever called home.

It has been reported that when the restoration works are finished a representative of the Royal family will be invited to view the end product. 

This long awaited development further cements the 179 years historical bond between Great Britain and Malta G.C.

(all photographs courtesy of Times of Malta and its top Photographer Frank Attard)


Joseph Galea Debono.
PRESIDENT,
GEORGE CROSS ISLAND ASSOCIATION. 


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