29, Telgha ta' Gwardamanga , Pieta

Villa Guardamangia is a classic example of an 18th century Maltese country summer house; one of the very first to be built in this area of the harbour. Until 1810 the building and surrounding land was owned by the Spanish cleric Carlo Oleades, who then sold it to Fra Vincenzo Carbone, a member of the Order of St John. Carbone eventually sold it to three Maltese gentlemen who divided the property between themselves in 1814. In dire need of restoration, it is best known for having served as the only permanent residence outside the United Kingdom which Queen Elizabeth II has ever had, when she lived as a princess with her husband Prince Philip between 1949 and 1951.

Lord Louis Mountbatten rented and moved into the property in December 1948, following extensive works. In 1949 it was bought by Joseph Schembri, one of the island’s foremost businessmen and a member of parliament with the Malta Labour Party. It remained within the Schembri family until it was sold in 2018.

While serving in Malta, Prince Philip, husband of Princess Elizabeth was an officer of the Royal Navy, first lieutenant on HMS Chequers and captain of HMS Magpie. Villa Guardamangia is the only known place outside Great Britain in which an heir to the throne of the United Kingdom has resided, and the only place which the queen has described as ‘home’, since here she could lead a ‘normal’ life without the burden of official duties. Since then the royal couple always referred to their stay in Malta in nostalgic terms.

Villa Guardamangia therefore represents the close relationship between Great Britain and Malta in the past 200 years or so. It was purchased by the Government of Malta and formally entrusted to Heritage Malta in June 2020.

Nearby Attractions
Gardens of Villa Frere, Pieta
Great Siege Road, Floriana
Historical Site
Vjal Nelson, Valletta