The Maltese government has spent 4.5 million GBP buying the only property outside the UK that Queen Elizabeth II has ever called home and now they plan to restore the Grade 2 listed villa to its former glory.
Villa Guardamangia, which has fallen into disrepair over the years, located in the Maltese hamlet of Gwardamanga was put for sale last year for a price of 6.5 million EUR (5.7 million GBP), according to reports.
On 5th June, Maltese National Heritage Minister Jose Herrera confirmed that the state bough the villa for 5 million EUR (4.5 million GBP).
To coincide with the announcement, local media was allowed inside the Grade 2 listed building ahead of its restoration.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip lived in the villa between 1949 and 1951 when she was still the Duchess of Edinburgh, several years before her coronation in 1953.
Herrera confirmed that the Maltese government has been in contact with Buckingham Palace during the purchase and that he hopes a state visit will take place soon.
He said: “Yes, the royal family were involved throughout the discussions and yes it would be a pleasure to have a representative of the Monarchy over, once the restoration works are finalised.
“At the moment we are focusing on the restoration works and any possibilities will be discussed through diplomatic channels.”
According to local media, the villa measures 1,560 square metres and is the only building outside the UK that the Queen has ever called home.
It was built by Sir Augusto Bartolo in 1900 and was later leased by another owner to Lord Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin and Prince Philip’s uncle.
Prince Philip was a naval officer stationed in Malta before Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.
The Queen’s last visit to her former home was in 1992.
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