Australia drops controversial dame and knight titles

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has announced that Australia will no longer appoint knights and dames in its honours system.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during their visit to Australia this year

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during their visit to Australia this year Image by Jan Smith / CC BY 2.0

The tradition of knighthoods and damehoods was reintroduced in 2014 by former prime minister Tony Abbott, and was followed by the high-profile knighthood assigned to Prince Philip in January 2015.

The decision to knight Prince Philip along with the reintroduction of knighthoods was highly unpopular across Australia, and has since been pointed to as one of Abbott's errors in judgement while in government. He was ousted by Turnbull in September.

The new Prime Minister called the appointment of knights and dames "archaic" and not "suited to modern Australia". He announced that his decision to drop the titles had met with the approval of Queen Elizabeth. Before being elected in September, Turnballwas known for leading the failed attempt for Australia to drop the monarchy and become a republic.

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