Prince Philip has formally received his Australian knighthood insignia from his wife, the Queen.
The investiture ceremony was held at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, with Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, present.
Given the public uproar that accompanied Prince Philip being controversially awarded the Knight of the Order of Australia by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Australia Day in January this year, it is unsurprising that Mr Downer has yet to make an official comment about the Royal audience. According to Fairfax, a Buckingham Palace spokesman merely suggested that the official photo “speaks for itself”.
Contrary to popular belief, Prince Philip was not due to be dubbed a knight by the Queen in a medieval sword ceremony – a tradition typically reserved for British knighthoods. She simply passed the medal to him in a box.
Curiously, the prince is not entitled to use the title ‘Sir’, as the award is only considered by the UK government to be an honorary one.
Not that he really needs to; Prince Philip adds Knight of the Order of Australia to his collection of (by one count) 16 other such honours and titles, including: the Duke of Edinburgh and, most elaborately, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
The reintroduction of Australian knighthoods and damehoods in 2014 was led by Prime Minister Abbott, a dedicated Monarchist.