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Queen arrives in Malta for three day state visit

The Queen alongside her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, arrived in Malta on Thursday for the start of her three day state visit of the country; where she will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

The Queen is being accompanied by her son – the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for the duration of the trip where Charles will make a speech on climate change at a business forum.

Whilst in the country’s capital Valletta, Her Majesty will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting where at a banquet, she will meet the leaders of all 53 Commonwealth countries.

Some of the leaders she will be meeting include newly elected Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau as well as the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who is an opponent of the monarchy and is a staunch republican.

Special guests have also been invited to this year’s summit including United Nations General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon, and the French President, François Hollande.

The 89 year old Monarch will be particularly pleased that the 2015 meeting is being held in Malta as it is a country she has deep connections with.

Both she and Prince Philip lived on the island before King George VI died in 1952 and the young Princess Elizabeth took accession to the throne. More recently, the royal couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on the island in 2007.

The Queen and Philip will be meet some former associates from the time they spent on the island some 65 years ago when they lived on the island.

The British High Commissioner to Malta Rob Luke said the Royal Family had an “enduring affection” for Malta.

However, the CHOGM was not supposed to be held in Malta this year. The only reason the Mediterranean island is hosting the event is because original host country, Mauritius, withdrew in protest towards the government of Sri Lanka.

The Queen and Duke were greeted by Joseph Muscat, Malta’s Prime Minister, at the airport ahead of a ceremonial welcome, attended by the President.

Later on in the visit, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit a heritage project in Kalkara where they will see displays of Maltese culture. The couple will also visit Marsa Racecourse where they will present prizes.

This is the fourth State Visit to Malta by The Queen and her fifth visit since the start of her reign.

Royal Central will bring you continuous coverage of The Queen’s visit to Malta

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