The Queen's former idyllic Maltese home is being restored and opened to the public

·2-min read

From House Beautiful

The Queen and Prince Philips's former Maltese idyll Villa Guardamangia will be reconstructed from its crumbling state and opened to the public as a museum.

The beautiful 1900s property holds special significance for the monarch and Philip, as it was where they lived as newlyweds between 1949 and 1951, before her father Prince George VI's death and her appointment as Queen.

The royal couple enjoyed relative anonymity at the time and are said to have led an idyllic existence in Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, swimming, dancing and enjoying beach picnics (via The Times). The Queen is also believed to have enjoyed shopping trips, visited the hairdresser and drove around in a Morris Minor.

Photo credit: Matt Cardy
Photo credit: Matt Cardy

Philip was leased the house by his uncle Lord Mountbatten while he was stationed in Malta serving as a naval officer on the HMS Chequers within the Royal Navy's Mediterranean fleet. It was previously owned and run by a veteran heiress of the Schembri family.

Though the Queen and Prince Philip have visited the property a few times since leaving in 1951, the home has deteriorated after decades of neglect. When Her Majesty visited Malta five years ago as part of the Commonwealth Summit, she was denied entry due to its decrepit state.

Photo credit: Matt Cardy
Photo credit: Matt Cardy

Local conservationist, Astrid Vella, was reported to have said at the time: 'If the Queen asks to visit this property again, it shouldn't be in this state. We must save it.'

It went up for sale in 2019 and was said to boast six bedrooms, a lounge, dining room, living room, kitchen, three bathrooms, grand 'sala nobile' and two garages.

Photo credit: Hulton Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: Hulton Archive - Getty Images

Following appeals from heritage sites, the government has finally stepped in and purchased it for £4.5million, with plans to turn it into a tourist attraction.

Malta's state Heritage Agency told The Times that they would work with Buckingham Palace to 'reconstruct' the villa before it is opened to the public.

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