Buckingham Palace has announced that the Queen invested the Duke of Edinburgh with the insignia of a Knight of the Order of Australia today. The ceremony took place at Windsor Castle.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott directly recommended Philip for the knighthood. Abbott said that “Prince Philip’s long life of service and dedication should be honored by Australia.”
There was one small problem, though: Abbott almost lost his job over it.
The Queen agreed, back in early January, to the recommendation. To their consternation and vexation, several senior Australian ministers only found out about Abbott’s proposal when it was announced publicly at the end of January. They were not amused. It was a move that was also publicly condemned as well. According to the Guardian, the Australian people were not warm to the idea of their nation honoring a British royal. As a result, future decisions on knighthoods are to be made by the independent Council for the Order of Australia.
The PM didn’t do his cause any favors by responding somewhat snobbishly to social media criticism as “electronic graffiti”.
Abbott, obviously a pro-monarchist leaning PM, restored knight/dame hoods to Australia’s honors system last year after a 30-year dormancy.