British Royalty and A-List Movie-Stars put Malta back on the Holiday Map
We’ve long known that Malta is a fantastic holiday destination – three in fact if you include Gozo and Comino as well – for a city break or extended stay and as such, we’re delighted that this beautiful trio of Mediterranean islands have been featuring so prominently in the news. As the Duchess of Cambridge announced her second pregnancy this week, her upcoming official trip to Malta later this month to mark the 50th anniversary of Maltese independence from the UK now looks in doubt as she falls victim once again to extreme morning sickness.
Coupled with that, hot of the back of their surprise wedding, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie enjoyed a brief yacht-based honeymoon off the coast of Malta before starting work on their new film, By the Sea, which is currently being shot on the neighbouring island of Gozo. This is in fact Brad’s third film to be shot on Malta – he also filmed Troy and World War Z in 2004 and 2013 respectively – so it’s fair to say he’s already well acquainted with the many treasures that Malta has to offer.
If Kate does make it to Malta, it’s unlikely she’ll bump into Brad whilst she’s there given that he and the new Mrs Pitt are basing themselves on Gozo after choosing the bay of Mgarr is-Xini as the principal location for filming. Set deep within a steep-sided valley, Mgarr ix-Xini is one of Gozo’s most secluded (pebble) beaches and its clear waters and rich marine life lend themselves perfectly for snorkelling and diving.
Back to royal matters and on arrival in Malta, Kate is scheduled to visit with the Maltese President and Prime Minister at the San Anton Palace and historic Auberge de Castille before watching a series of military drills at Valletta’s Palace Square, including a re-enactment of the In Guardia parade, a historical inspection of the fort and garrison by the Grand Bailiff of the Order of the Knights of St John. From there, she’s due to visit Valletta’s National Library to view a number of historical documents including letters from Kings Henry VIII and George II before an evening of Independence Day Celebrations at the Upper Barrakka Gardens overlooking the spectacular Grand Harbour. And that’s just day one!
Day two sees the Duchess attend an Independence Day Service at St John’s Co-Cathedral, one of the most visited landmarks in Valletta, where she’ll get to view the two Caravaggio paintings in display in the Cathedral’s museum, before travelling to the town of Vittoriosa for a visit to a youth agency and a walk through the lovely town square. At the Church of St Lawrence, the oldest on Malta, she’ll once again get an up-close look at some beautiful Maltese artworks before heading to the harbour for a boat cruise to take in some of the most stunning coastal views between Vittoriosa and Valletta. Her two-day itinerary ends with a garden party at the British High Commissioner’s Residence.