Floriana George Borg Olivier Independence Day
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How Malta celebrated Independence Day in 1964

Description

This exclusive archive footage shows how Malta celebrated its first Independence Day.

It was on 21 September 1964 that Malta took its first steps as a sovereign nation state.

It was a major milestone in Maltese history after more than 150 years as an important British colony.

Cheering crowds gathered in Floriana for the special ceremony, where the Duke of Edinburgh handed over the legal documents establishing the new Maltese Constitution to Prime Minister George Borg Olivier.

Four months after a referendum and 164 years after it joined the British Empire, Malta became an independent Commonwealth realm just like Australia and Canada.

The Queen became Queen of Malta, a title she would hold until 1974.

Nowadays, Independence Day is one of the five national holidays celebrated in the Maltese Islands.

The others are Freedom Day on 31 March, ‘Sette Giugno’ on 7 June, Victory Day on 8 September and Republic Day on 13 December.

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