Coffee House

A (slightly belated) Birthday message for Prince Philip

11 June 2011

9:16 PM

11 June 2011

9:16 PM

The Spectator is very proud to be the purveyor of a long-distance birthday message to Prince Philip, who turned 90 yesterday, from some of his most devoted admirers: the tribe that actually worship
him as a god. The cult of Philip began in the 50s when islanders on Tanna in the South Pacific noticed how devoted colonial officials were to the Queen. If she’s so great, then her husband must be
awesome they (understandably) concluded.


Four years ago, six Philip worshippers from Tanna — Chief Yappa, JJ, Joel, Albi and Posen — were brought over here to make make a TV documentary. For various reasons they stayed with me
for a while and they were some of the most charming and joyous people I’ve ever met. The highlight of their trip was a visit to Buck Pal where they met the D of E face to face. No-one knows what
was said — how do you chit chat with a god? — but it reflects very well on Prince Philip that Yappa left even more convinced by his religion than ever.

So of course they’ve been celebrating on Tanna, and they’ve sent a message to their god via email:

"We wish Prince Philip a Happy Birthday and long living. We have held a tamafa (a communication with the spirits involving plenty of mild narcotics) in honour of him today"

So many happy returns Prince Philip — from the one place on earth where you decidedly out-rank your wife.

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Show comments
  • Frank P

    daniel maris

    … and others have taken a free ride!

  • lescam

    I have always admired Prince Philip, and never more so than when he refused to answer some of Fiona Bruce’s more impertinent questions. He simply sat there smiling, and in silence. She must have found the whole interview a nightmare. He did admit that he never wanted to do the interview in the first place, so presumably he was cajoled into doing it by HM. Nobody else could have made him. Anyway, good on him for showing the Beeb who is boss, and not bowing down to the “bunnyhuggers” (his own words) when she brought up the subject of wildlife conservation. Some people appear not to know the difference between the conservation of rare species to prevent extinction, and the protection of foxes, badgers and other pests. Prince Philip has the right ideas on this subject. Hope he gets to be 100.

  • lewis Stockwell

    “God save the….[mmmm] God???”

  • daniel maris

    Frank P

    Others may have reached the same destination by different trains.

  • Jeremy

    “We have held a tamafa (a communication with the spirits involving plenty of mild narcotics)…”

    Now that’s what I call a religion…

    I should imagine the Duke is very gratified to know there is a group of people constantly interceding on his behalf with the spirit world.

    Now if only we could get the Archbishop of Canterbury to do the same…

    “We wish Prince Philip a Happy Birthday and long living.”

    And so do I. Many happy returns, your grace!

  • Frank P

    And another thing … substitute ‘inflated’ for ‘belated’ in the caption; or better still add it.

  • Frank P

    Mary W

    It’s plain to see at least one of ‘the various reasons’ you invited Chief Yappa to stay with you during his visit to these shores. It would be of interest to we Royalists to be apprised of the less graphic ones. Were you studying the influence of sporrans in the South Seas arising from (so to speak) the travels of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders? Or vice versa? I think we should be told.

  • Frank P


    I was just about to give you credit for a very clever pun when I thought,naaah! Not Daniel; he must have nicked that from elsewhere – not an original thought in his agitprop head! So I checked: [see comments]

    and [ditto see comments]

    Just sayin’. Many more there too.

  • Frank P

    Is that crutch garnish the Tannaian version of a ferkin’ gherkin, or is he just VERY pleased to see Prince Phillip?

    And if you want to use the official diminutive for Buckingham Palace, Mary, its ‘Buckhouse’.

  • 2trueblue

    The best thing on the BBC this week was the interview with Prince Philip. It portrayed the stature of the man. The BBC obviously had no idea how to do it and sent a ‘fluffy’ along, who was out ranked in every sense by the Prince. It really portrayed what we know of the BBC, vacuous, unable to think on its feet and outpaced by anyone real.

  • daniel maris

    The penis mightier than the gourd?

  • Jeremy

    That’s quite a boastful arrangement of clothing in the groin area.

  • Austin Barry

    A Union Jack and a broomhead. Surely soon to be our national dress.