From Yahoo/Sky News-Ian Woods Australian correspondant:
As Prince Philip celebrates his 90th birthday, the celebrations at Buckingham Palace will be a little more sedate than the party being held in his honour on the other side of the world.
The people of the Yaohnanen tribe in Vanuatu revere him as a god, and every year on his birthday they host a celebration in the hope that he will visit them.
Exactly why villagers on the little South Pacific Island of Tanna worship a Greek-born British royal is a little confusing, but they believe he is originally from their island, and was born from the spirit of a local volcano.
The Yasur volcano is still active and spews fire and ash on a daily basis. But legend says that a white man emerged from the volcano and travelled abroad to marry a powerful Queen.
In 1974 Her Majesty and her husband stopped briefly in what was then called the New Hebrides during a voyage aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Local men, including the chief of the Yaohnanen tribe rowed out to meet them, and it seems that was when the connection with Prince Philip was made.
Chief Jack passed away three years ago, and despite his disappointment that his god did return to pay a visit, his grandson Chief Siko remains optimistic.
"He is originally from Tanna. He was born here and he is a spirit being," he told Sky News.
"He is a god and when we talk about him and believe in him, it gives us life. We are sure that one day he will come back, and when he does we will organise a toka dance for him."
Thirty years ago there were doubters among the tribe, but Chief Jack arranged for a traditional club to be sent to Buckingham Palace as a gift.
The Prince responded by posing for a photograph while holding the club, and signing the picture. Ever since, it has been the centrepiece in a shrine in the simple village on a montainside.
A more recent signed picture of the Duke of Edinburgh was sent a decade ago.
"The photograph settled an argument. Some believed he was not from Tanna, but when the chief sent the club, and he received it and we saw the picture....then everyone knows he is from Tanna," said Chief Siko as he sat on a makeshift throne in his hut, with his wife bare-breasted at his side.
The villagers seldom wear many clothes. The men are often dressed only in a penis-gourd.
As a guest, I felt I should bring some gifts to the tribe, and arranged for a colleague in London to buy some photographs and postcards, as well as a 30-year-old biography of the Prince.
I was a little concerned that they might think the text was sacrilegious as it details his Greek rather than Tanna heritage. But as they speak no English, they did not object.
I had also brought a Prince Philip cardboard mask, and again I was uncertain how they would react.
After all, you don't see many Christians wearing Jesus masks. But without any prompting from me, one boy helped put it onto one of his young friends, and we had the incongruous sight of Prince Philip staring from the body of a small black child, surrounded by the villagers.
I asked the Chief whether he had a message for the Prince on his 90th birthday.
"I say to him that all the villages here are preparing to meet him in 2012."
Hope that raised a smile.
I'm off to Brazil to get hitched.
Love to all