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Prince of Wales visits Order of Malta’s Italian Emergency Service volunteers in earthquake striken Amatrice

His Royal Highness pays a surprise visit

Amatrice, Italy, 2 April 2017

HRH the Prince of Wales in Amatrice

HRH the Prince of Wales in Amatrice

The Order’s Italian Emergency Service volunteers were congratulated by HRH the Prince of Wales on a surprise visit to their headquarters in Amatrice at the weekend. 

The Prince met with local authorities and senior members of the Order’s Emergency Service. He talked with the volunteers about their experiences in caring for the shocked community, many of whom had lost family members in last August’s earthquake which measured  6.2 on the Richter scale and devastated the small town. They were to suffer with a further ‘quake in October.

His Royal Highness visited ‘Camp Zero’ where victims had been taken for immediate support after the catastrophe, and were treated by the Order’s first aid teams. He also laid a wreath at the memorial to those who had died.

The Order’s Emergency Service teams were on the ground within hours of the catastrophe and have remained to help rebuild the lives of the survivors.

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.