Various Maltese persons expressed their respect to the memory of the Duke of Edinburgh through different gestures, including in front of the villa that he used to call ‘home’, where he had lived for some time at the end of World War II
For two years between 1949 and 1951 Villa Gwardamanġa was home for Prince Philip and his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, at the time still a princess. Over the past days, several Maltese saluted the Prince’s memory by leaving flowers on the doorstep of the villa.
The Prince’s duties as an officer with the Royal Navy were recalled during a short ceremony organised by the Malta George Cross Movement.
Royal Naval Association Secretary Elaine Zerafa said this sad day brings back many happy memories of Prince Philip, adding that she had first met him during a visit by the Queen to Fort St Angelo. Both Elaine Zerafa and Paul Briffa, Chairman of the association, recalled his sense of humour.
“Very ordinary guy to speak to and I mean we were very very proud to have him and the majesty the queen stationed in Malta where I think they spent very happy times and we hope that the happy times that they did spend here will get her majesty through the next sorrowful time that really today she must be feeling.”
Paul Briffa added: “I was in the Navy, where I spent 42 years. I always used to come to Malta. I met the Duke twice, once when I was studying in the UK. Great sense of humour. Immediately put you at ease.”
Others saluted Prince Philip from their homes… like this house in Blata l-Bajda flying a flag at half-mast and hanging the Duke’s portrait from the balcony.
At noon Prince Philip was accorded a gun salute from the Upper Barrakka. Nine shots were fired in the salute organised by Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna in collaboration with the Tourism Authority – one for each decade of the Prince’s life.