Islanders believe Prince Philip's retirement caused cyclone

The people of Vanuatu worship the royal

Updated: 

Islanders who worship Prince Philip believe that the news of his retirement has triggered a tropical cyclone.

The villagers of the Pacific nation of Vanuatu believe that the Duke of Edinburgh, 95, is descended from their spirit ancestors.

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The people of Yaohnanen, on the remote island of Tanna, say that his announcement that he will be stepping down from royal duties is being reflected in the weather.

In 2015, residents believed that Cyclone Pam was heralding the arrival of Prince Philip to their island after an elder predicted a "great event" was upon them.

Credits: UnknownVillagers believe Philip's retirement has triggered a cyclone heading for their island


Credits: PAThe Duke of Edinburgh has announced his retirement from royal duties

Of course, the Duke of Edinburgh did not visit the island in 2016, but it hasn't stopped the villagers' beliefs.

Cyclone Donna is headed for the islands over the weekend and will bring strong wind and heavy rain, according to weather forecasters.

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Matthew Baylis, an author and journalist who has lived with the villagers told The Telegraph: "They told me that they see Philip's living in palace, surrounded by guards, and travelling in a car with darkened windows, as evidence of his taboo status.

Credits: PAPrince Philip will not attend any more royal engagements after autumn

"They may well see his withdrawal from public duties as connected to that - having attained some higher rung of taboo, sacred status.

"Equally, they might think he is preparing to come 'back' to Tanna, in some form, spiritually or bodily."

The Prince Philip Movement is a religious sect, where followers believe that the Duke of Edinburgh is the son of a volcano spirit.

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They say he travelled overseas to marry a powerful woman, and will one day return to their tribe.

The sect is believed to have been established sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, but was strengthened greatly when the Queen and Philip visited Vanatu on official duties in 1974.

Credits: EPAThe Duke of Edinburgh leaves Buckingham Palace with tears in his eyes

Credits: Getty Images EuropeThe Queen is said to support her husband's decision

At one time, the followers sent Prince Philip a traditional pig-killing club, called a nal-nal, which he posed with in a photograph and sent back to the tribe.

The image is now revered among the tribe and thought of as sacred.

Earlier today, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip will be stepping down from royal duties this autumn.

The Duke of Edinburgh, will carry out previously arranged engagements, but will not accept any further duties after this time.

The Palace said in a statement it was the Duke's decision, taken with the support of the Queen.

He was pictured leaving the palace with red, watery eyes after making the surprise announcement.

The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated.

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