Maltapost has issued a new collection of stamps in memory of Prince Philip on what would have been his 100th birthday. The collection honours the Prince’s links to Malta.
The three designs see the Duke of Edinburgh during different stages of his relationship with Malta. The first two feature the Prince and his wife, the then Princess Elizabeth at Villa Guardamangia, where he lived for two years while serving as a Royal Navy officer from 1949 to 1951.
On the third, he is seen on September 1964 celebrating Independence Day, whereby he handed over the formal independence documents to Malta’s prime minister, George Borg Olivier.
Maltapost’s head of philately Mary Grace Simpson explained, ‘To mark what would have been his 100th birthday, we are issuing three stamps with a denomination of 30c, €1 and €2’. She added that while they normally issue between 10 and 12 different stamps a year, Prince Philip’s was added to the list after his death in April.
Prince Philip’s relationship with the island goes back to his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was brought up in different places – among which is Malta. Her father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, was also occasionally stationed in Malta during his time as a naval officer.
Prince Philip was second-in-command of HMS Chequers, leader of the first destroyer flotilla of the Mediterranean Fleet. While HMS Chequers underwent a renovation, he stayed at the house rented to his uncle, Lord Mountbatten – Villa Guardamangia in Pietà, which is currently being restored to become a tourist attraction.
A month later, on their second wedding anniversary, Elizabeth joined Prince Philip, igniting a relationship between the royal couple and Malta.