Malta and Britain

HRH Prince Phillip funeral

You would have noticed a group of sailors blowing whistles before the pallbearers ascended the steps of St George’s Chapel.

This ceremony is performed by bosuns on the deck of a naval ship.  It is called piping aboard or ashore. The whistle is called a boatswain’s call, or bosun’s whistle.

The ceremony is performed when Flag-rank officers or an important guest is boarding or departing a Navy ship. It is also used to mark the final departure of a sailor retiring from active service. 

Prince Philip was a naval officer who served well, for his adopted country, in the Royal Navy during World War II, particularly in the Mediterranean naval engagements. For this reason, it is apt that his final departure is marked by the piping abord /ashore ceremony, a tradition steeped in British naval history. 


Prince Philip and the future Queen Elizabeth II spent their early married lives in Malta where he was serving in the British naval base in Valetta, Malta.

Here are 4 books that celebrate the historic link between Malta and Britain.  Malta was the fulcrum of the British successful control of the Mediterranean Sea during World War II.

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