VALLETTA, Malta – Military helicopters buzzed overhead and sharpshooters kept watch from rooftops as Queen Elizabeth II of Britain on Wednesday began her first overseas trip since the July 7 bombings in London.
Security in this tiny Mediterranean island nation was tight ahead of the three-day Commonwealth summit which begins Friday.
Still, applauding well-wishers were allowed to line the sidewalk of the narrow medieval street in the Maltese capital's historic center where the monarch's motorcade passed.
In early evening, the queen took a 10-minute walk past the crowds as thousands of Christmas lights, decorating the street, twinkled overhead.
Maltese crowded balconies and pressed up against windows in buildings lining the street for a glimpse of the queen, who arrived two days ahead of the summit's opening.