The clip now on YouTube about the special moments, aired on BBC, on the life of Prince Philip brought out an object that has aroused a lot of interest. The Seychelles Tourism Board’s website was inundated with inquiries about the nut that Prince Philip had eaten, which people said was the forbidden fruit.
The polished endemic Coco-de-Mer nut showed in the program is from the Seychelles. This was the “dry nut of peculiar shape” that the Prince was refering to. This is nut from a palm tree grows only in the Seychelles, and its nut has found its way into the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s heaviest nut as its weight can get up to 40 pounds.
The Coco-de-Mer female nut has a very erotic shape which has given it the name of the “Love Nut.” The nut can only be collected from a female tree of the Coco-de-Mer Palm, whereas the male tree produces a male catkin with thousands of small flowers on it. The resemblence of the human anatomy is what has got this nut its “Love Nut” name. The valley where this unique palm grows lies on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles, and many travelers and visitors refer to this valley as the “Garden of Eden.”
The nut can be eaten, as was confirmed by Prince Philip. It has a jelly like fruit in the middle of the nut when it is still young, and this has always been considered a special delicacy.
UK’s Prince Philip has visited the Seychelles on different occasions, and in the 1960s he personally planted a Coco-de-Mer plant in the Botanical Gardens of Mahe island. This tree is today fruiting, and Princess Anne, on her visit to Seychelles last year, was able to see the famous tree planted by Prince Philip.
Prince Philip also accompanied Her Majesty the Queen on her official visit to the Seychelles when she officially open the Seychelles International Airport in 1972. Seychelles had until then been the world’s last quiet and remote group of islands, but on July 4, 1971, the first BOAC VC 10 plane landed in Seychelles and launched in earnest the country’s tourism industry, which will next month celebrate its 40th anniversary. Seychelles was then a British Colony, and it became independent only in 1976.
Today tourism is the pillar of the Seychelles economy, and these mid-ocean islands are considered leaders in tourism.