The Queen and Prince Philip were given a warm welcome this afternoon shortly after they arrived in Malta on a short private visit coinciding with their sixtieth wedding anniversary.

Hundreds of Maltese and tourists lined Glormu Cassar Avenue in Floriana and applauded as the royal couple was driven past on their way to the Upper Barrakka Gardens where they marked their anniversary by meeting Maltese couples who, like them, were married in 1947.  Couples who were married 30 years ago were also presented to the Queen.

Her Majesty, wearing a pink coat and matching hat, looked relaxed and radiant as she was escorted by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi  into the Barrakka. They chatted with the guests and Her Majesty then  planted a tree near a plaque reading:  "This tree was planted on the occasion of the diamond wedding anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen and  His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh."

A young girl presented her a bouquet of flowers as she left the Barrakka amid applause and cheers. The Queen paused to chat with some of the people who had been waiting to see her for hours behind the barriers.

The royal couple are in Malta on a stop-over on their way to Uganda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

They will stay overnight at San Anton Palace, where they will meet President and Mrs Fenech Adami. They fly to Uganda tomorrow morning. 

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