Devout followers of Prince Philip on Vanuatu's Tanna Island are reported to be dismayed he is now likely never to visit them.
The British royal announced last week he would no longer take part in public engagements.
Villagers in Younanen pray to the 95-year-old prince daily asking for his blessing on their banana and yam crops.
Anthropologists believe he became linked to a local legend in the 1960s.
The villagers have several photos of the prince including one of him holding a club they made for him and sent to London.
Village chief Jack Malia said the prince had said he would visit one day and that would mean an end to poverty, sickness and debt in the village.
"We still believe that he will come but if he doesn't come, the pictures that I am holding... it means nothing."
The decades-old legend cited by anthropologists has it that a pale-skinned son of the mountain god ventured overseas to look for a rich and powerful woman to marry.
At the time Vanuatu was an Anglo-French colony known as the New Hebrides and villagers were likely to have seen portraits of Prince Philip and the Queen at government offices and police stations run by colonial officials.
The belief that the prince was indeed the travelling son was reinforced in 1974 when he and the Queen made an official visit to the New Hebrides.
Now villagers hope for a second coming.
"Prince Philip is important to us because our ancestors told us that part of our custom is in England," said Mr Malia, who took over from his father as village chief in 2003.