Tuesday 9.30pm SBS ONE
Wednesday 2.00pm SBS ONE (repeat)

Waiting for Philip

As far as most of the world is concerned, Prince Philip was born in Greece and went on to become Queen Elizabeth’s husband, but to the people of Tanna in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, it’s a different story.

They revere him as the human form of an ancestral spirit from the island, who, according to a prophecy, emerged from a volcano and travelled overseas to marry a queen.

The Prince Philip Movement probably started after the royal couple visited in 1974 and has been fuelled by gifts of photos sent by Philip.

Video journalist Amos Roberts arrives in Tanna as villagers prepare for the Prince’s 89th birthday. They believe it’s the date of his ‘second coming’ and a big party is being organised in his honour.

WATCH - Does he arrive? How will the locals react if he doesn’t? And who is the young man from Edinburgh, who speaks at the birthday celebration in the islanders' local language? Click to see the report and find out.

EXTRA - Find out more about the background to Vanuatu's beliefs in an extended interview with anthropologist Kirk Huffman and watch a previous Dateline story on another Vanuatu cult.

PRINCE'S RESPONSE - What does Prince Philip make of it all? Read Buckingham Palace's response to Amos's questions.

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On air: 8th August 2010

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