A signed portrait of Prince Philip has become an integral part of the lives of a remote village called Yaohnanen in a South Pacific jungle on the island state of Vanuatu. They now have 3 of the pictures, however the first black and white photo, now damaged by damp seems to date back to the early 1960s with two more following, one in the 1980s and the last in 2000. The tribe als treasured correspondence from Buckingham Palace, however it has been destroyed over time by humidity and nibbling mice.
Prince Philip has received God like status in Yaohnanen and the surrounding areas as they believe him to be the son of an ancient spirit who inhabits a nearby mountain, on the island of Tanna.
They have recently discovered that the Prince’s birthday is on the 10th June and have begun ambitious plans to celebrate it. They have planned a feast and dancing and Chief Jack Naiva has acquired a Union flag, which will be run up a flagpole and saluted.
They are all hoping that Prince Philip will join them for the celebrations to mark this special event.
It is unclear why exactly these people came to believe in the prince’s divinity but it seems to be a combination of Christian beliefs of a returning messiah and the respect for Prince Philip that was formed while the New hebrides were part of our colony. Prince Philip also fits with an ancient prophecy in which it is believe a Tanna man would travel long distances to marry a powerful woman
The prince’s cult-like status grew while on a state visit to the New Hebrides in 1971. He was wearing a white naval uniform as he and the Queen arrived into the capital, Port Vila and is continuing strong today.