From Anguilla to South Africa, Queen Elizabeth II travelled the world throughout her 70-year reign, but her last official overseas visit happened to be to a certain tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean.
In November 2015, Queen Elizabeth II, then aged 89, joined her husband Prince Philip, her son King Charles, and several other Commonwealth leaders in Malta for the 24th CHOGM meeting.
In a speech, the Queen praised Malta for the resilience and courage it has shown over the years.
“Malta is a reminder that a nation’s size is no measure of the moral strength of its people or its willingness to play a full part in the global agenda,” she said.
It was only by chance that this international meeting took place in Malta at all. The 2015 CHOGM was originally meant to be held in Mauritius but a new location had to be found after the Mauritian Prime Minister refused to attend the previous CHOGM in Sri Lanka due to the human rights situation.
Malta was only too happy to comply.
Yet it is somewhat fitting that the Queen’s last overseas visit happened to be to Malta, the island she lived on between 1949 and 1951, shortly before her coronation, and where Prince Philip was stationed as a naval officer.
Malta remains the only country besides the UK which the Queen called home and the late monarch had described her time here as one of the best moments of her life as it was the only time she could live normally.
Malta joined the world in mourning the Queen’s death last night, with the government hailing the late monarch’s ability to win people’s hearts and recalling the “special tie” she had with the island.
What is your fondest memory of Queen Elizabeth II?