Culture
WATCH: Rare look inside Villa Guardamangia ahead of long-awaited €10 million renovation
It was home to Queen Elizabeth, then heir to the English throne, between 1949 and 1951.

Sarah Micallef

Ahead of its much-needed restoration, which is estimated will cost €10 million, Villa Guardamangia, primarily known to be then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s home while living in Malta between 1949 and 1951, is finally getting the attention it deserves.

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The Grade 2 scheduled building was recently bought by the Government for €5 million, and its restoration has been entrusted to Heritage Malta, with the eventual aim of turning it into a museum of Malta's history as a British colony, as well as Malta’s links with the British royal family. 

Having fallen into disrepair since its glory days, the two-storey villa offers only the faintest glimpse of its illustrious past, and in a series of photos by photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi for Reuters, looks sadly the worse for wear.

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Darrin Zammit Lupi

In this rare look at its interior, paint peels from the walls and broken statues from the garden form a pile in one of the rooms.

The sizeable garden is overgrown, and remnants of a nineteenth century belvedere recall photos taken of the then-Princess during her time on the island.

Darrin Zammit Lupi

Darrin Zammit Lupi

The property, which features six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a grand hall and a shelter, was also the subject of a recent video feature on 7NEWs Sydney, which shined a light on the “rundown, Mediterranean villa” which is the only place the Queen has called home outside of the UK.

With a history as rich as this, we can’t wait to see Villa Guardamangia be restored to its former glory, so as to better tell the story of a young princess who found a brief respite in Malta before going on to become the longest-reigning British monarch in history.

4th August 2020


Sarah Micallef
Written by
Sarah Micallef
A keen traveller with an interest in most things, Sarah loves her island home as much as she loves getting away from it, and enjoys discovering and re-discovering the gems, hidden corners and unique stories of her native Malta and Gozo.

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