Queen Elizabeth II this week received her annual Christmas gift of 72 Maltese oranges from the Maltese High Commissioner to the UK, Joseph Zammit Tabona.

The oranges, from the gardens of the late Mabel Strickland’s former Lija residence, Villa Parisio, were sent to Buckingham Palace in a handcrafted wooden chest made in Malta.

When Mr Zammit Tabona presented his credentials to the Queen in 2009, she fondly recalled that Ms Strickland, former The Times editor, used to send her a box of Maltese oranges every Christmas.

Mr Zammit Tabona proposed to revive the tradition and he and his wife have sent the Queen oranges every Christmas since.

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