Queen Elizabeth’s former Malta home of Villa Guardamangia will be converted into a touristic destination after the government officially purchased it from its owners.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced the deal yesterday, stating the villa has the potential to become one of Malta’s top five tourist destinations.
“We have saved the villa, we will restore it and open it to the public and it will become a Mecca for tourists and Maltese people alike,” he said.
The Prime Minister didn’t say how much the deal cost the government but the villa had earlier this year been put on sale for nearly €6 million.
The Pieta villa occupies a unique space in history as it is the only house outside of the UK which the Queen used to call home.
The Queen, back then still a princess, lived there between 1949 and 1951 during her early years of marriage to Prince Philip, who was stationed in Malta as a naval officer.
The monarch has described her time in Malta as one of the best moments of her life as it was the only time she could live normally. However, she was kept away from her former home during her last visit to Malta in 2015 as it was falling to pieces. Instead, the President of Malta gifted her and Prince Philip with a painting of Villa Guardamangia in its former glory.