She is also Head of the Commonwealth itself, a voluntary association of 54 independent countries.
Author Robert Jobson explained in his 2018 book Charles at Seventy – Thoughts, Hopes & Dreams.
He wrote: “The Queen’s age means [certain state] visits, such as the autumn 2017 Commonwealth tour starting in Singapore, opening the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the visit to Vanuatu, in April 2018, are now undertaken by Charles.
The visit to Vanuatu was highly successful and saw Charles crowned in a rather unique way.
“Charles…was given a most spectacular and uproarious welcome, befitting a king, much as his mother and father had been forty-four years earlier,” penned Jobson.
“Greeted by the locals in traditional dress and with painted faces, he smiled and waved as he walked across woven red ceremonial mats, a profoundly respected local tradition.”
The author went on: “At the final stop, Charles, as ever, gamely donned a grass skirt, to the delight of the travelling photographers.”
“Others may have been reduced to fits of the giggles at the absurdity of it all, but not Charles.
“After a sip or two of special kava, known as Royal Kava, a powerful concoction reserved for special occasions, he seemed genuinely touched and humbled by the welcome and its attention to detail as he stood with a huge palm leaf up his back and a grass skirt over his lightweight suit, and splendidly bedecked with a white salusalu (garland) made from indigenous natural rope fibres, leaves and flowers around his neck.
“The Duke of Edinburgh… is treated as a ‘divine being’ by a cult on one of Vanuatu’s tiny islands, Tanna,” explained Jobson.
The island of Tanna is a cargo cult of the Yaohnanen tribe that practices superstitious rituals in the hopes that it will bring more modern goods to society, therefore making it more technologically advanced.
The tribe believe that Philip may be the son of a mountain spirit who travelled overseas to a distant land.
- ^ Prince Charles (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ Simon Calder: Holidays in 8 weeks to Portugal ‘looking really good’ (www.express.co.uk)