Knights and dames will no longer be a part of the Australian honours system, it has been confirmed.
In a media release issued by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office on Monday, it was confirmed that the controversial honours, which were re-introduced by now-former prime minister Tony Abbott, have been dumped.
Removing knights and dames was slated in September, soon after Mr Turnbull – an avowed republican – ousted Mr Abbott from the leadership. It has now been formally agreed by the Queen, making it official.
In an apparent effort to stress that it was not a so-called ‘captain’s call’, as Mr Abbott was readily accused of making, the media release stated that the decision to do away with knights and dames once more was agreed in Cabinet rather than just imposed by Prime Minister Turnbull.
Knights and dames honours were controversially re-introduced to the Australian honours system by Mr Abbott in 2014, having been first dumped in 1986 by the Hawke Labor government after being initially established in 1976 by the Fraser Liberal government.
There have been four recipients of the award since 2014: Quentin Bryce, General Peter Cosgrove, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and, of course, Prince Philip. All four will maintain their awarded title.
In was the announcement of the knighting of Prince Phillip on Australia Day this year that stirred the most controversy and reinforced public perception that Mr Abbott was aloof and out of touch. It arguably led to the first test of Mr Abbott’s leadership in February, ultimately contributing to the successful challenge of Malcolm Turnbull in September.
IMAGE: Malcolm Turnbull. (Getty Images)