Villagers on Vanuatu fear Prince Philip retirement

Villagers on Vanuatu fear Prince Philip retirement

Villagers on Vanuatu fear Prince Philip retirement

The people of the village of Younanen, on the island of Tanna Island off the coast of Vanuatu, were shocked to discover the man they worship as a god will stop attending public engagements.

With political leaders of all colours and countless charities paying tribute to Prince Philip's contribution, his son praised the "staggering service" he had offered to the country over the years - dating back to World War Two.

A report in Britain's The Sunday Times, an influential and well-regarded newspaper, said that Queen Elizabeth had made her views clear via her private secretary Christopher Geidt at a meeting of more than 500 royal staff. Phillip's retirement was announced at the same time as the meeting. A Reuters reporter had to hire a local guide to find it. Villagers are poor. The villagers have several photos of Prince Philip, including one from 1980, which seems to hold a stick that they made for him and sent it to London. Still, speculation like this always makes one wonder: Who's next? "We still believe that he will come". According to the local myth, the light-haired son of the mountain god traveled across the sea to seek a strong and rich woman to marry.

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The show will go on when the Duke of Edinburgh steps down from public duties as other royal family members take on his roles, the Earl of Wessex says. The story strengthened in 1974, when the islanders received an official visit from the wandering prince and his queen.

Officials said the queen, who turned 91 last month, will keep carrying out royal engagements with the support of the royal family.

Asked whether Philip's blessings would help with the tropical storms that often batter Vanuatu, like the Category 4 Cyclone Donna now passing over the archipelago's north, Malia said that wasn't generally in his remit as they generally flowed up from the south.

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There is of course some irony in the Duke of Edinburgh being considered a god by a primitive community thousands of miles away from London's civilisation.

On a trip to Australia, he asked a group of Aborigines if they still threw spears at each other.

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