The chief of a tribe on the South Pacific island Tanna that worships Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as a deity mourned his death during a ceremony on April 12. Tribesmen gathered memorabilia to remember the duke, who died on April 9 at age 99.
In the opening scene of this footage, according to a translation provided by videographer Jean-Pascal Wahe, Chief Charlie Kahla of Yakel says of Prince Philip’s death, “I never [met] him but I’m very sorry [for his loss]. We have a strong relationship with him. My heart is full of sorrow to hear it. He will rise again while his body remains rotten. His spirit will [come] back [to] live with us.”
The rest of the video shows tribesmen gathered with framed photographs, postcards, magazines, and other memorabilia featuring Prince Philip, including a photograph of when islanders visited the duke in Britain in 2007.
According to British media, the origins of the island’s beliefs in Prince Philip’s divinity are unclear, but were compounded during a royal visit to Vanuatu in 1974. Following the visit, the duke agreed to send the villagers a photo of himself posing with a traditional pig-killing club, according to The Guardian.
Wahe told Storyful the videos were taken at a ceremony held in Yaohnanen on Monday, April 12, to officially mark the death of Prince Philip. Credit: Jean-Pascal Wahe via Storyful