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While some local rule was given in 1947, full independence from the United Kingdom was only granted on the 21st of September 1964. As a now Independent Sovereign State, Malta became a member of the Commonwealth. However, even though independence was granted, the Queen was still head of the Commonwealth realms, granting her a constitutional role. The Queen of Malta remained Head of State until Malta became a republic in 1974. With Independence Day marking self-governance, this national holiday is often associated with the Prime Minister of Malta.

Independence Day

21st September

The 21st of September 1964, marks the day when Malta finally achieved its independence from Britain, specifically pertaining political affairs.

Throughout the years, Malta has always been considered as the ideal base, given its strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean. The island of Malta fell colony to various nations throughout the years, making Independence Day even more important to the nation and its people.

Picture: The Main Guard and the Chancellery

After achieving a responsible government as a result of the events that occurred on The Sette Giugno (7th of June 1919), the Maltese people have since strived towards independence. It was only until the heavy bombardment Malta suffered during World War II, coupled with the nation’s resilience and bravery, that the prospect of independence from the United Kingdom became possible.

Picture: George Borg Olivier triumphantly waves the independence instruments on the night of September 20-21, 1964. - Department of Information

Independence Day

Independence Day is an annually celebrated national holiday that marks the day Malta was granted its freedom from the British Empire’s rule on the 21st of September 1964.

21st September

Commemorating Independence Day

As part of the celebrations centred on Independence Day, a Pontifical Mass by the Bishop of Malta is held at the St. John’s Co-Cathedral Valletta. This mass is followed by a flower-laying ceremony in front of the Independence Monument in Floriana, attended by the Prime Minister of Malta, the President and the Opposition Leader.

In the evening, the Independence Day Concert is organised by the National Festivities Committee, under the patronage of the President of Malta. This concert includes performances from the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra as well as vocals by seasoned sopranos.