Prince Charles, along with other younger members of the Royal Family, travels extensively on behalf of the clan. Prince Philip, 99, and Queen Elizabeth, 94, no longer carry on state visits due to their age – so the baton passes to their children and grandchildren. Consequently, despite not being monarch yet, Prince Charles essentially assumes the crown when travelling to certain countries.
The is because the Queen is Sovereign of 15 Commonwealth realms in addition to the UK.
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.
READ MORE: Simon Calder: Holidays in 8 weeks to Portugal ‘looking really good’
“During these visits, unlike other members of the Royal Family, the prince, as heir apparent, is not only representing the Queen but, effectively, assumes her role.”
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.”
Indeed, Charles very much got into the spirit of things and was loved for it.
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.
Prince Philp has a very important role in one location.
“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.