Queen Elizabeth’s former home in Malta under the lens

In collaboration with Heritage Malta, an international team of heritage students from the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, are studying the site, ahead of the plans to eventually open the building and garden to the public.

This week, Villa Guardamangia, at Pietà, is home to a team of 22 international heritage students, who have travelled from the UK to study this historic site. They are surveying and reporting on the value and condition of the Grade II Villa, as part of their Masters programme in Sustainable Heritage at the Institute for Sustainable Heritage at University College London. The study, which includes reporting on the viability of the planned restoration and cultural facilities, was developed in collaboration with Heritage Malta.

The former residence of the then Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, who lived there between 1949 and 1951, is a symbol of the close relationship between Malta and the UK.  The Government of Malta has recently purchased the Villa because it is viewed as cultural heritage of national and international importance. While the Villa had fallen into disrepair in recent years, Heritage Malta has confirmed its intentions to restore it and make it accessible to the public, since it has the potential of becoming a popular attraction, especially for enthusiasts of the Royal Family. In addition to the museum, the first floor is planned to feature historic reconstructions of the rooms as they were used by the royal couple.

UCL students’ research includes reporting on the building condition, estimating changes needed to adapt the Villa for future use, advising on making it energy efficient and exploring how best to communicate the significance of the site to future visitors.