Alice in Wonderland queen explores Malta connection – Article in The Times of Malta, 24th April 2010

Actress Helena Bonham Carter, who stars as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, was in Malta for a brief holiday retracing the steps of her great uncle, Charles, who was Governor of Malta in the late 1930s.

She was here with her partner, director Tim Burton, their two children and some close friends on board actor Johnny Depp’s boat Vajoliroja.

The Vajoliroja sailed from Naples and spent a few days in Gozo before ending their three-week holiday in Malta, berthed at Grand Harbour Marina in Vittoriosa.

On arrival, Ms Bonham Carter made it a point to visit the Grandmasters’ Palace in Valletta to look up her uncle’s name on a plaque listing all those who governed Malta during British rule.

They were due to leave Malta last Friday but were stuck here, grounded by the flight cancellations that plagued Europe over the last few days. As a result, their stay was extended by another six days, which the couple turned into an opportunity to pay a second visit to the city. They left on Thursday, as soon as flights resumed.

They were accompanied by Edward Woods, managing partner of BWA Yachting, the company that handled Mr Depp’s yacht. He presented them with a copy of John Manduca’s publication The Bonham-Carter Diaries, which looks at the period during which Sir Charles Bonham-Carter governed between 1936 and 1940.

Mr Woods said: “Helena and Tim were particularly intrigued by the rich colour of our Maltese stone and by the fact that Malta boasts an illustrious history and such an impressive artistic legacy.

“They kept asking many questions about Malta’s role under the Knights, about the Great Siege and about Valletta and its architecture. They were also particularly intrigued by our Maltese traditional balconies.”

They are very close friends with Mr Depp, who is the godfather of their first child Billy Ray, and the trio has collaborated on several box office hits such as Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the 1990 classic Edward Scissorhands, which was directed by Mr Burton and starred Mr Depp.

The partners at BWA Yachting Malta, part of an international franchise, are over the moon that the first private yacht to be welcomed to their new facilities at the Grand Harbour Marina was that belonging to a world renowned actor… to say nothing of his famous guests.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77greatestates or

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