The island where Prince Philip is worshipped

Ten thousand miles from Windsor Castle, the residents of Ikunala planned a special ceremony this week to remember Prince Philip, who died last week at the age of 99.
You see, in this part of the South Pacific, the prince was considered ... more than just a prince.
Here in this village on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, the indigenous people revered Prince Philip as a demigod stemming from a local legend about the fair-skinned son of a local mountain god who ventured across the seas in search of a rich and powerful woman to marry.
IKUNALA VILLAGE CHIEF YAPA: "The bond between the people of Tanna Island and the English is very strong. We send condolences to the Royal Family and the people of England." In 2007, Yapa and four other men from the village traveled to England to take part in a three-part British television documentary. They visited Windsor Castle and met Philip and took photos with him that they now cherish.
Anthropologists believe Queen Elizabeth's late husband was linked to the legend in the 1960s when Vanuatu was an Anglo-French colony.
The villagers' special interest in Philip manifested itself in daily prayers for his blessing on their banana and yam harvest and the publication of photos in village houses. One such photo dates from 1980 and showed the prince, dressed in a suit, in the hand of a club that killed pigs produced by the islanders and sent to London.
While Philip had a reputation for being gruff and frank, with a propensity for the occasional gape, it is said that he had a respectful 50-year relationship with the group.
Back in England, the royal family will gather for his solemn funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday, where he will be remembered as the prince and husband of the Queen - one who has served his country longer than anyone in British history .
Video transcript
- 10,000 miles from Windsor Castle, the residents of Ikunala are planning to hold a special ceremony this week to remember Prince Philip who died last week at the age of 99. You see, in this part of the South Pacific, the prince was considered to be more than just a prince.
Here in this village on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, the indigenous people worshiped Prince Phillip as a demigod stemming from a local legend about the fair-skinned son of a local mountain god who ventured across the seas in search of a rich and powerful woman to marry. Ikunala village chief Yapa.
YAPA: (through interpreters) The bond between the people of Tanna Island and the English is very strong. We send messages of condolence to the Royal Family and the people of England.
- In 2007, Yapa and four other men from the village traveled to England to participate in a three-part British television documentary. They met Philip at Windsor Castle and took photos with him that they now cherish. Anthropologists believe Queen Elizabeth's late husband was linked to the legend in the 1960s when Vanuatu was an Anglo-French colony. The villagers' special interest in Phillip manifested itself in daily prayers for his blessing on their banana and yam harvest and the publication of photos in village houses.
One such photo dates from 1980 and showed the prince in a suit with a club that killed pigs that had been made by the islanders and sent to London. While Phillip had a reputation for being gruff and outspoken, with a penchant for the occasional gape, he is believed to have had a respectful 50-year relationship with the group. Back in England, the royal family will gather for his solemn funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday, where he will be remembered as the prince and husband of the Queen who served his country in his role longer than any other in British history.
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

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