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Royal boost for Maltese cathedral appeal

Posted on: September 25, 2017 12:12 PM
Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz / John Haslam / Gavin Drake

The multi-million-pound appeal to restore Malta’s Anglican cathedral will receive a boost next week when the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, pays a visit. St Paul’s Cathedral in Valletta was built in 1844 at the request of Queen Adelaide, the wife of Britain’s King William IV. It is one of three pro-cathedrals for the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe – the others being in Gibraltar and Brussels.

Earlier this year, the Diocese in Europe launched a €3 million (Euro, approximately £2.64 million GBP) appeal to restore its tower, stonework and 60-metre spire.

Prince Charles, who has already made a personal donation to the restoraytion campaign, will visit St Paul’s as part of a two-day journey to Malta from 4 – 5 October. His visit marks the 75th anniversary of the island being awarded the George Cross in recognition of “the bravery, heroism and devotion” that its people displayed during the siege of Malta in the Second World War. That award, by the Prince’s grandfather, King George VI, on 15 April 1942, is celebrated by the presence of the George Cross on the Maltese national flag.

Prince Charles’ father, the Duke of Edinburgh is the “first friend” of the Friends of St Paul's Pro-Cathedral..

The news is the second boost for the fund-raising efforts. The theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who has a home in Valletta and whose mother was of Maltese descent, has pledged €100,000 to the restoration.

“Valletta, a city full of historic buildings, would not be the same without this splendid landmark," he said. “It is so important that such jewels like St Paul's are maintained for future generations to admire. Once they are gone, they are gone as we have seen from the very sad recent collapse of the Azure Window in Gozo.”

During his two-day stay in Malta, the Prince of Wales will deliver the keynote speech at the Our Ocean conference, which aims to “inspire and empower a new generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and civil society to identify solutions and commit to actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans,” the Prince’s office said.