Queen Elizabeth II wraps up Malta trip, jokes Trudeau makes her feel old

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Old 29-Nov-2015
Queen Elizabeth II wraps up Malta trip, jokes Trudeau makes her feel old

VALLETTA, Malta -- Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday wrapped up a nostalgic visit to Malta, her one-time home, where she joked that Canada's youthful new leader had made her feel old.

The British monarch has close ties to the Mediterranean island, where she lived between 1949 and 1951 while her husband, Prince Philip, was in the Royal Navy.

On Saturday she crossed the Grand Harbor in the capital, Valletta, in a traditional Maltese wooden boat. She alighted at the spot where her father, King George VI, landed in June 1943 to present Malta with the George Cross in honour of citizens' bravery in withstanding a World War II siege by the forces of Italy and Nazi Germany.

It's the only time a country, rather than an individual, has received Britain's highest civilian award for valour.

Later the queen and Philip watched a buggy race at Marsa racecourse before boarding a plane back to London. The horse-loving queen had been due to watch a polo match, but it was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.

During her three-day visit the monarch opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth of Britain and many of its former colonies.

She was toasted at a banquet by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose father Pierre governed Canada for more than a decade from 1968. Trudeau recalled the monarch's many visits to his country, saying she had "seen more of Canada than most Canadians."

The queen thanked 43-year-old Trudeau "for making me feel so old."

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