BBC has filmed a special segment on the Prince Philip’s “special bond” with Malta, the country he lived in for two years when he was posted there as a naval officer.
Queen Elizabeth has described her time in Malta, young and madly in love with her prince, as one of the happiest moments of her life. In fact, BBC featured old footage of the young royals walking together in their home of Villa Guardamangia and dancing at the Hotel Phoenicia ballroom.
BBC spoke to Malta’s Culture Minister Jose Herrera, who said the people of Malta could relate to Prince Philip’s notorious gaffes.
“The Maltese are very warm people, they’re not formal but are very informal and obviously the monarchy has to be formal,” he said. “So sometimes when the Duke would make a lapsus in his comments and perhaps go a bit too far, the Maltese would like it because they’d see that even the Duke is human.”
They also spoke to Marquis Nicolas De Piro, who recounted a bit of the relationship his father, a member of the Maltese aristocracy, enjoyed with Prince Philip.
“He would ask [my father] what he actually does when he’s not being a baron, and he said that perhaps it’s the same thing he does when he’s not being a duke,” De Piro chuckled.
Prince Philip visited Malta several times over the years, with his last visit coming in 2015 for the CHOGM meeting.