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.”