Valletta - Prince William, the duke of Cambridge, arrived in Malta on Saturday afternoon to mark the island's 50th anniversary of independence.
The 32-year-old prince embarked on the official visit as a last-minute replacement for his pregnant wife, the duchess of Cambridge, who was forced to withdraw on doctors' advice after suffering severe morning sickness.
The visit, during the celebration of Malta's independence from Britain in 1964, was meant to be the duchess' first solo overseas visit.
Thousands of people are expected to receive the future king as he tours the capital city, Valletta.
William met with the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat before visiting the National Library, where he will be shown letters written by his ancestors.William's father, Prince Charles, lived on the island between 1949 and 1951 as a child, when his mother, then-Princess Elizabeth, was living there as the wife of a naval officer stationed on the island.
Independence day has historically been controversial, due to political divisions over how it's celebrated.
Muscat, whose Labour Party had refused to acknowledge the significance of the event, urged the Maltese to drop their political differences.
"We have to show we have matured and grown," he said, shortly before William's visit.See pics of William's visit here:(Photos: AP)
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