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.
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
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
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.