During the Siege of Malta from 1798 to 1800, the Maltese reached out to Britain to help repel the French. From 1800 until 1813 they were technically part of the Kingdom of Sicily but protected by the English. Then after the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British Crown Colony. This Latin inscription on the portico of The Main Guard building is dated 1814. It declares the island’s love of Britain. A lion and a unicorn flank the British Royal Coat of Arms. It was not until 1964 that Malta became an independent state.