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Dublin: 10°C Sunday 18 April 2021

Australia steps back from link with Britain by axing 'knights and dames' system

PM Malcolm Turnbull has described the titles as “anachronistic” and “out of date”.

Source: BBC News/YouTube

AUSTRALIA HAS DROPPED its system of appointing knights and dames as part of its honours system.

This comes after a decision from the country’s government led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Speaking earlier today, the PM said that it was, “A long way from being the most important issue in Australia today. But it is a change as you know, removing knights and dames from the Australian honours system was a decision the Cabinet has taken.”

He went on to say that the move “reflects modern Australia” and that the titles were “anachronistic” and “out of date”.

Queen Elizabeth has agreed to the move, accepting the decision to drop the titles.

The system of knighthoods and damehoods was revived last year by the then PM Tony Abbott.

The former leader was slammed for his decision to award Prince Philip with the award in January of this year, and it is thought that the move contributed to his eventual ousting as leader of the Liberal Party.

In an article in February of this year, The Guardian noted that the Queen’s husband was previously best remembered in Australia for asking an Indigenous Australian in 2002, “Do you still throw spears at each other?”

Back in 1999 Turnbull led an unsuccessful campaign for Australia to fully sever its ties with the United Kingdom and become a full republic. 

According to the BBC he has since said that while he remains a republican, the issue of dropping the monarchy is not a priority for his government.

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