The Queen was given a painting of her former home in Malta yesterday evening, making her feel nostalgic.
Her Majesty, accompanied by Prince Philip, is in Malta for the CHOGM, where she and the Duke lived for a time when Philip was still serving in the Navy, and she was still Princess Elizabeth.
Her Majesty and Philip lived at Villa Guardamangia in Pieta, and the painting was a gift from President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca at a reception yesterday. The President said: “We thought it would bring back memories.”
The painting was a watercolour, among a small collection of gifts, and The Queen commented upon seeing it: “Oh look, Guardamangia, that’s very nice to have.”
“It looks rather sad now,” Her Majesty said, referring to the state of disrepair in which the building has been left.
The Prince of Wales also has fond memories of his early years in Malta, having spent time there, and he and Camilla also attended the reception.
During the reception party yesterday evening at San Anton Palace, The Queen met some friends from the past. The Royal couple met Freddie Mizzi, 81, ho was a clarinettist with the Jimmy Dowling Band when The Queen and the Duke used to go dancing at the Venetian Hotel in Valletta in the early 1950’s.
He said: “I reminded her that we used to play their favourite song, People Will Say We’re In Love, from Oklahoma, and she remembered. She and the Duke used to dance a lot. She was always beautiful and always so nice and kind, and she hasn’t changed.”
Frank Attard, 87, was another guest they knew: Mr Attard spent 55 years working as a photographer for the Times of Malta. He brought pictures of The Queen and the Duke in Malta with him: “She had her best days on the island. She was so young and so lovely. When I showed her the pictures she started laughing. She said she could remember some of them being taken but not others.”
Although, Malta is now a Republic state, many Maltese people still love The Queen and the British Monarchy. Despite the bad weather, many Maltese people gathered in Attard to wave to the Royal party.