02 November 2015

Flashback: Visit to Malta, 1967

Malta is a place with special personal significance for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, thanks to long periods spent on the island between 1949 and 1951, when The Duke was stationed there with the Royal Navy and their life was less "royal" and more "normal". They've visited the country several times since.

When she visited in November 1967, she was the Queen of Malta, Malta having maintained her as head of state after gaining independence from Britain in 1964. (This lasted until 1974, when they became a republic.)

Video: The Queen's visit highlights
Many of the jewels brought along for the trip were pretty standard state visit picks, such as the Dorset Bow Brooch and the Cullinan V Brooch (worn with a sparkling badge underneath), but there were also some interesting and relatively new pieces at play.

We don't know much about the Diamond and Gold Rose Brooch, but this 1967 trip is one of its early - if not the earliest - appearances on The Queen. It seems it was only scarcely used until a burst of outings around 2012.

The Queen wore her Brazilian Aquamarine Parure on this trip, at a time when it looked slightly different - she wouldn't have the tiara modified to its current format until 1971. (She was also wearing her Garter insignia and Royal Family Orders, of course.)

A theater performance also signaled where The Queen was at in terms of her personal jewelry acquisitions: the Baring Ruby Necklace, itself acquired only three years prior, is often paired with the Burmese Ruby Tiara, but The Queen would not commission that ruby diadem until 1973. She wore it here with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, her Art Deco Diamond and Ruby Bracelet, and Queen Mary's Ruby Cluster Earrings.

She also selected one of her favorite sparkling suites of jewelry to open Malta's parliament in grand style: Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, the Greville Chandelier Earrings, the George VI Festoon Necklace, and Queen Mary's Chain-Link Bracelet.

The Kokoshnik also went for a spin on the dance floor during one of the trip's evening events, paired with the Antique Girandole Earrings, the Coronation Necklace, and Queen Victoria's Bracelet, completing this short but sparkly visit.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's next trip to Malta is fast approaching: they'll travel there in late November for the 2015 session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will also be along for the ride.

Photos: via British Pathe video screencaps and Getty Images