The Duke of Edinburgh is certainly no stranger to Malta.
Prince Philip, who marked his 99th birthday in 2020, has paid several visits to the Maltese Islands over the years, and lived here from 1949 to 1951 whilst stationed in Malta with the Royal Navy.
This exclusive archive footage shows the Duke arriving in Valletta with Governor-General Sir Maurice Dorman for a ceremony at St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in 1967.
He is then filmed on a morale-boosting visit to families serving in Malta with the RAF, Royal Navy and British Army during the height of the Cold War.
The Duke is later seen during a State Ball at Verdala Palace sharing a joke with a number of Maltese politicians including George Borg Olivier and Dom Mintoff.
The Queen and Prince Philip had arrived in Malta on November 14, 1967.
Highlights in the programme included the State Opening of Parliament in Valletta by The Queen, the presentation of new colours to the 1st Battalion King’s Own Malta Regiment, a children’s rally in Floriana, a visit to the new Royal University of Malta campus, and the laying of the foundation stone of the new general hospital in Gozo.
The royal couple last visited Malta in 2015, having previously visited in 2007, 2005, 1997, 1967 and 1954. The Duke of Edinburgh also visited Malta in 1952, 1955, 1960, 1964, 1968 and 2001.
The Queen has often told of her ‘special’ fondness of Malta, once describing her time on the island as ‘the happiest days of my life’.
In a speech in Kalkara in 2015, she said: ‘With each visit here I am reminded why Malta was awarded the George Cross in 1942 by my father, King George VI, for her valour – the first and only time it has been awarded to a nation rather than an individual.
‘Since my first experience of Malta in 1949 as a young woman, I have seen this country evolve into a strong nation which plays an important role on the world stage.
‘When Prince Philip and I returned in November 2007 at the time of our Diamond Wedding Anniversary, we could not help but be impressed by the progress and the sense of optimism.’