As of January 27, 2015, Australia is still effectively under British colonial-style rule. Like Canada, it has a Prime Minister and Parliament, but both must answer to Queen Elizabeth II and British leadership.
For this reason, a lot of Australians and critics from around the world were extremely disappointed when the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott decided to announced on “Australia Day” that he plans to honor Prince Philip, the royal consort of Queen Elizabeth II, with a knighthood. Abbott stated that his reason was that Prince Philip has been a “great servant” to both Australia and other countries of the Commonwealth. He also spoke about Prince Philip’s service to non-profit organizations and projects.
Defence Minister Kevin Andrews provided strong support for the decision, describing Prince Philip’s contribution as “phenomenal”.
Mr Andrews said there was a precedent for giving the award to people outside Australia, and said the criticism was “lacking the generosity for which we Australians are famed”.
“It doesn’t cost us anything to give him this award,” he said.
“How else do we say, in a sense, thank you to someone who’s given six decades of public service?
“I think it’s a phenomenal contribution. He’s still doing it in his 90s now and I think we should just be generous about it.”
Many angry Australians and others have taken to radio, social media and podcast to outspokenly condemn the Australian Prime Minister’s actions. Some have pointed out that there are plenty of Australians who deserve recognition and that Abbott should have picked someone who is native to the country.
The Drum Polls opinion website for ABC in Australia asked site visitors if they approved of this decision. The results? A total number of 3,871 people responded and 93 percent stated that they do not approve.
Prince Philip knighthood backlash
Prince Philip ‘extremely deserving’ of Australian knighthood, says minister; PM facing continuing backlash from party colleagues