Prince Philip gets Australian knighthood

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has bestowed a knighthood on Britain's Prince Philip.

Prince Philip
Prince Philip

Britain's Prince Philip has been made a knight of Australia.

The country's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced on Australia Day today (26.01.15) that the 93-year-old royal - who is married to Queen Elizabeth - deserved the accolade in recognition of a "long life of service and dedication".

He added: "Prince Philip has been a great servant of Australia, he's been a great servant of all the countries of the Commonwealth.

"He's the patron of hundreds of organisations. He's the inspiration and wellspring of the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards."

The knighthoods - which were only reinstated by the leader last year - must be approved by Queen Elizabeth and Mr. Abbott's decision has sparked fury among opposing politicians.

Leader of the Labor party, Bill Shorten, said it was "anachronistic" to give the top award to a British royal on Australia Day and admitted he thought the news was a joke at first.

Geoff Gallop, the former premier of Western Australia, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC): "As we try to reflect upon our nation... one of Australia's highest honours goes to someone who's not part of our community really.

"In effect this is the eccentricity of Tony Abbott's views on our constitution coming through. It certainly doesn't reflect the view of the Australian people through a meritocratic process."

And Northern Territory Country Liberal Party chief minister Adam Giles worried Philip's knighthood made Australia seem "a bit of a joke".

He said: "It takes away from the legitimacy of the knighthood role and I think it makes us a bit of a joke in a range of areas."

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