It is the only property outside of Britain that Queen Elizabeth called home.
A villa near Malta's capital, Valletta, where the heir to the English throne lived between 1949 and 1951, is about to get a new lease of life as a museum of the Mediterranean island's links with the United Kingdom and the royal family.
Left: A man walks past the main entrance of Villa Guardamangia. Right: The name plaque for Villa Guardamangia hangs next to an ornate door knocker attached to the main entrance.
Those were relatively relaxing times for Elizabeth, then in her early twenties. Security was light and she felt comfortable enough driving herself around in a humble Morris Minor.
Newspapers chronicled people turning up at the villa to hand her oranges. They reported her going to the cinema and a local hairdresser, enjoying picnics in the countryside and swimming at Sliema beach, three miles from her home.
Pictures show the princess chatting with locals, including an old lady weaving traditional lace. She hosted parties for service wives at the villa.
Left: A bath tub lies in the ensuite bathroom of what was once Prince Philip's bedroom. Right: Old plates are piled inside a kitchen sink.
The royal couple left Malta in 1950 for the birth of Elizabeth's second child, Princess Anne, in August 1950, but they were back by Christmas.
They never again set foot in the villa after they left in 1951, despite returning to Malta several times in later years.
Left: Light shines onto traditional Maltese pattern tiles in what was once Prince Philip's bedroom. Right: An employee of Heritage Malta walks through a tunnel in an underground wartime air raid shelter at Villa Guardamangia.
"The villa had separate apartments for the prince and the princess, each including a bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, an anteroom and a bathroom," said curator Gambin.
The plan in not just to restore the villa to the way it looked several decades ago, but also to turn it into a museum of Malta's history as a British colony until independence in 1964, and the links with the British royal family.
Despite the hefty price tag, the restored property could prove a major attraction for British tourists who account for a quarter of Malta's tourism arrivals every year.
PHOTO EDITING MARIKA KOCHIASHVILI; TEXT GAVIN JONES; EDITING MIKE COLLETT-WHITE; LAYOUT JULIA DALRYMPLE