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Times of Malta – Prince Philip and his carefree life in Malta

Malta entered the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, through his passion for the Royal Navy. Since then, the island always held a special place in his heart – offering a carefree “home” to him and his wife, then Princess Elizabeth, during their first years of marriage.  After his death, aged 99, Claudia Calleja from Times of Malta looks at Prince Philip’s ties with Malta – ranging from polo playing, to granting its independence. 

It was the night between September 20 and 21, 1964 – when Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, shared a special moment with Malta as the country gained independence after nearly 165 years of British rule.

Prince Philip handed over the formal independence documents to Malta’s Prime Minister George Borg Olivier – in front of over 30,000 Maltese who gathered at the Granaries in Floriana to witness history unfold.

Times of Malta photographer Frank Attard, 93, remembers every detail witnessed through the lens of his camera.

“The atmosphere was out of this world. I was stationed near the flagpoles and at midnight, the Union Jack went down and the Maltese flag went up. The crowd applauded and cheered,” he recalls.

A few hours before the flags were changed, he adds, the Duke was greeted with a warm applause as he read a message from his wife, Queen Elizabeth: “I am certain of one thing. Throughout the period of British administration, this vital fortress and base has only been used to preserve peace in the Mediterranean and to promote law and order.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Malta

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