The Queen and Prince Philip’s crumbling former home in Malta where the royals lived between 1949 and 1951 is set to become a museum after $12.4 million restoration
A crumbling villa in Malta which is the only property outside of Britain that the Queen and Prince Philip called home is now undergoing a mammoth £9million ($12.4million) restoration which will turn it into a museum. The five-year project will transform the two-story Villa Guardamangia, near the capital of Valletta, with the aim of promoting the relationship between the Mediterranean island and the UK and the Royal Family. A huge effort is needed to save the villa, where the rooms are bare, paint is peeling off the walls to reveal old murals beneath, the enclosed garden is overgrown and part of a colonnaded belvedere in it has collapsed. Statues that once stood in the garden are piled up in a room, the servants’ quarters are derelict, bathrooms are destroyed and traditional patterned Maltese floor tiling – which the Queen is said to have found cold – have faded.
A man walks past the entrance of the Queen and Philip’s former home Villa Guardamangia on the outskirts of Valletta in Malta. The then-Princess Elizabeth was in the first years of her marriage when she lived at the home between 1949 and 1951, after moving to Malta when her husband was based there in command of a Royal Navy frigate.
A young Philip and the then-Princess Elizabeth spent some of the early years of their marriage together at Villa Guardamangia. Heritage Malta is now beginning its work to restore the mid-18th century palazzo-style residence to its former glory after buying it in June 2020, and it is once again attracting attention after Philip’s death aged 99 last Friday.
Sofas left by the previous occupant of Villa Guardamangia, a palazzo-style residence on the outskirts of Valletta.
The remains of what are believed to have been part of an altar piece stands next to a ladder at Villa Guardamangia in Malta.
Pieces of broken statues that were recovered from the garden are piled up in a room at Villa Guardamangia near Valletta.
A belvedere stands on top of columns overlooking the garden at Villa Guardamangia, where the Queen and Philip once lived.
The Queen and Prince Philip are pictured at Villa Guardamangia in 1950. The couple lived at the home between 1949 and 1951.
The then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip are pictured at Villa Guardamangia on the outskirts of Valletta in 1950.
The couple stand together on a roof promenade above Villa Guardamangia overlooking Marsamxett Harbour in Malta in 1949.
Efforts continue to restore the dilapidated mansion which Prince Philip and the Queen once called home in the early 1950s.
Light shines onto traditional Maltese pattern tiles in what was once Prince Philip’s bedroom at Villa Guardamangia.
Wrought-iron railings lead down a staircase at Villa Guardamangia, a former residence of the Queen and Prince Philip.
Light shines into what was once used as the servants’ quarters at Villa Guardamangia on the outskirts of Valletta in Malta.
Heritage Malta is now in charge of Villa Guardamangia, a palazzo-style residence which it purchased for about £4million.
The name plaque for Villa Guardamangia hangs next to an ornate door knocker attached to the main entrance of the home.
Light shines into Villa Guardamangia, a royal residence when Philip was based in Malta in command of a Royal Navy frigate.
The remnants of a belvedere stand in the garden of Villa Guardamangia which is now the subject of a restoration project.
The late Duke of Edinburgh is being ‘remembered fondly’ on the island of Malta where he once lived with the Queen.
Light shines into what was once the en suite bathroom of Prince Philip’s former bedroom at Villa Guardamangia.
Old plates are piled inside a kitchen sink at Villa Guardamangia, a former residence of the Queen and Prince Philip in Malta.
The remains of a toilet are pictured inside the en suite bathroom of what was once Philip’s bedroom at Villa Guardamangia.
A sink stands in the en suite bathroom of what was formerly the then-Princess Elizabeth’s bedroom at Villa Guardamangia.
A rolled-up carpet in front of a fireplace, inside a room once used as the grand hall for receiving guests at Villa Guardamangia.
Taps are pictured above a kitchen sink at Villa Guardamangia where the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip once lived.
A lampshade hangs from the ceiling of what was once Queen Elizabeth’s anteroom at Villa Guardamangia in Malta.
An employee of Heritage Malta walks through a tunnel in an underground wartime air raid shelter at Villa Guardamangia.
A bath tub lies in the ensuite bathroom of what was once Prince Philip’s bedroom at Villa Guardamangia in Malta.
A decorative carving of a woman’s face stands by a stair banister at Villa Guardamangia on the outskirts of Valletta.
Malta’s then-president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca presents a painting of Villa Guardamangia to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at San Anton Palace in Attard, Malta, during their visit on November 26, 2015.
Villa Guardamangia is pictured in 1949 ahead of the arrival of the then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip to the property.
Frank Attard, now 93, photographed the young couple in 1950 at their Villa Guardamangia home in Malta (left), where they enjoyed an idyllic two years unrestrained by Royal protocol before Elizabeth’s Coronation three years later. Recalling the photocall, he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Prince Philip gave this two-finger signal as I took their photograph. When I sent the photo over to the British newspapers, they said it expressed how they were expecting their second child.’ Princess Anne was born five months later.
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