Reproduction of a photograph of Prince Phillip...

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No matter what people say, Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh, husband of the Queen of England, is really a powerful ancestral spirit from the South Pacific.

The islanders of Tanna in Vanuatu, feel a deep connection with England because of the migration of their spirit from a volcano on their island to his marriage of a powerful woman in England – Elizabeth II.

They believe his journey to the UK is to protect their traditional culture and will culminate with his return.

The Prince is aware of the Movement and has shown great diplomacy by sending pictures and messages to the islanders. In addition he has received a delegation from the Island at Windsor Castle.

The idea of worshiping this man is no sillier than the worship of Haile Selassie (real name Tafari Makonnen) by followers of the Rastafari Movement or other god incarnations worshiped by other contemporary religions.

The Tanna people’s religion can be justified however as self-defence against the eroding effects of colonialism and Christianity: a way of preserving their traditional way of life and cultural practises. Integrating foreign influences within a local belief system strengthens their culture instead of changing it.

The islanders believe they are the happiest people in the world as a result of their traditional way of living. Perhaps they are also at peace because the Prince represents the fusion of black and white into a unified whole.

The Prince Phillip Movement is clearly the result of misunderstandings.  Perhaps, not being from a country the Islanders had heard about (Greece), led them to the conclusion he must be from Tanna? Was his diplomacy on this matter mistaken by the islanders as confirmation of their beliefs?

When the Prince did not fulfil their expectations by returning to the islands on his 89th birthday, far from shaking their beliefs, they were able to accommodate it. The parallel with the belief Jesus will return, despite the passing of 2000 years, is tempting to make.

It can lead us to ask how many misunderstandings, exaggerations and misinterpretations of events influenced our traditional religious books, whose writers had to hypothesise explanations in a time where basic scientific techniques had not yet been developed.

Observing the formation of these contemporary religions can perhaps offer insights into our older ones.

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