Island Cult Worships... Prince Philip?

On Tanna, they believe Queen's hubby will return in glory
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2010 9:32 AM CDT
Island Cult Worships... Prince Philip?
Young men prepare to perform a land dive from a bamboo platform during a visit by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to Vanuatu, February 22nd, 1974. The visit apparently spawned the cult of Philip.   (Getty Images)

To most of the world, Prince Philip is the Queen of England’s gaffe-prone husband, but on the tiny island of Tanna in Vanuatu, he’s the messiah. Philip’s never actually been to the island, but he and the Queen did visit Vanuatu in 1974, and that’s probably when the islanders decided that he was the descendant of the ancestral spirit who emerged from Tanna’s volcano and birthed all the world’s white races.

Buckingham Palace, vaguely aware of the cult, sent three signed photos of Philip to the village of Yaohnanen in 1978. When Kathy Marks of the Global Post visited the village, its chief proudly showed off the photographs. “Can you tell Prince Philip we are waiting for him?” he asked. He’s convinced Philip will return this year. “We know he is a very old man, but when he comes here, he is going to be young again, and so will everyone else on the island.” (More Prince Philip stories.)

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