This amazing film from our archives shows the pomp and ceremony surrounding the State Opening of Parliament in Malta.
Shot in the 1950s when Dr Gorg Borg Olivier was Prime Minister, the footage shows MPs and other VIPs gathering at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta for the traditional church service before the first sitting of the new Parliament.
Senior members of the church as well as judges, magistrates and the island’s top civil servants joined the Archbishop of Malta and the Governor Sir Robert Laycock.
Members of the armed forces also put on a parade outside the Palace in St George’s Square and were inspected by the Governor.
Malta’s Parliament was housed in the Palace in Valletta between 1921 and 2015. MPs met in the Tapestry Chamber till June 1976 and then in the former Palace Armoury till April 2015.
In 1976 the Hall in the Grandmaster’s Palace that used to house the Knights’ Armoury was chosen to become the new House of Representatives. Plans and designs were executed by Richard England. Unfortunately the armour was hastily removed from its original gallery and transferred to the ground floor halls in order to make way for a new house of parliament. It has been the wish of many that a New Parliament will be built so that the Armoury will be relocated back to its original location.