Today the Prince of Wales visited the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu where he was made an honorary high chief. It’s the first day of the solo leg of his overseas tour, the Duchess of Cornwall having departed to return to London after three days in Australia. And, I can happily report for those who haven’t been following this trip, things have been going swimmingly since a bumpy opening night at the Commonwealth Games.
Per the BBC:
“In the tradition of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, the heir to the throne took part in a series of rituals before being given the high chief name of Mal Menaringmanu.”
Vanuatu is no stranger to royalty. In 1974 they were visited by Charles’s father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who went through a similar ceremony. Indeed, he is actually worshipped as a god by one tribe on the island…one can only imagine how many times he brings that up behind closed doors, but if it was me, well, I would be insufferable about it.
Charles drank from a cup of Royal Kava that hasn’t been consumed since Prince Philip’s visit over 30 years ago.
Also per the BBC:
The prince also met Jimmy Joseph, from the village of Yaohnanen, on the Vanuatuan island of Tanna, where the Duke of Edinburgh is revered as a divine being.
“I gave him a walking stick for his father made by the hands of the Prince Philip Movement,” Mr Joseph said.
“I told him a lot of people in the movement have now died but there are some still living. The prince said he would deliver the message personally.”
Finally, the last highlight from the tour I will offer is that yesterday in Brisbane Charles made the dad joke of all dad jokes:
“I do know only too well – and understand – the strange feeling of disbelief that this is actually happening and that never again, for instance, will it be possible to squeeze into a pair of budgie smugglers.
“I don’t know about you, ladies and gentlemen, but now bits of me keep falling off at regular intervals.
“‘Don’t worry’, they keep telling me, ‘you have brilliant genes’. But the trouble is I can’t even get into them either.”
So, there’s that. Charles will remain abroad until Tuesday, April 10, the same day that restricted parking begins in front of the Lindo Wing. I wonder if scheduling this tour considered the Duchess of Cambridge’s due date at all and there was an effort to ensure he was back in London for the birth. Regardless, it’s a good indication that Kate’s due date is sometime in the second half of next week. Personally, I’d really appreciate it if the baby made an appearance before the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings, but we shall see. Starting next week, though, I think we’re officially in “any day now” mode!