Duchess Kate heads to Malta on solo trip; 5 things you need to know

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is going to Malta
Getty Images, AP
Max Mumby/Indigo / Today

The Duchess of Cambridge will take her first solo trip abroad for work when she heads to Malta later this year, Kensington Palace announced Monday.

Duchess Kate will visit Malta from September 20-21 on behalf of Queen Elizabeth to mark the 50th anniversary of the nation's independence from England. This will be her first trip to the Mediterranean island. 

A view from the Upper Barrakka Gardens to Valletta, the capital of Malta.Today

If all you know about Malta is that it gave us some adorably fluffy pups, here are a few facts to bring you up to speed on this petite European nation:

  1. Malta is located just below Italy, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya. 
  2. John Cassar, director and producer of the first seven seasons of "24," was born in Malta.
  3. "Captain Phillips," "The Da Vinci Code" and "World War Z" are among the many films that have scenes shot in Malta.
  4. Malta is one of the world's smallest countries, covering only 122 square miles, but is a popular tourist destination because of its warm climate, sweeping views and various architectural and historical monuments. 
  5. Malta was the 48th happiest country on earth, according to a report last fall by the United Nations. (The United States was 17th.)