Devaluing the Honours List

One has served his Queen and country; the other is simply married to the Queen, yet both have been given the honour of a knighthood on the Australia Day Honours list.

Already under fire for reinstating the honours of knighthoods and dames in 2014, Tony Abbott has been facing an incredible backlash over his decision to bestow the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, with a knighthood for his services to Australia. The prince can now add this title to those he already holds; Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit,Canadian Forces Decoration, Lord of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty and Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.

On the flip side, former Chief of Defence Forces, Angus Huston, who can be considered a worthy recipient, said that while honoured to receive such a commendation, he hoped people would still call him Angus.

Of course, Prince Philip can’t be blamed for being dubiously bestowed the honour. The responsibility lies squarely at the feet of Mr Abbott, who made the captain’s call on the knighthood and despite criticism from the public and his own party, is standing by his call.

While we acknowledge that Queen Elizabeth II has been a phenomenal monarch, surely it is time that Australia embraces the nation it has become, rather than the nation to which it no longer owes any favours. It was somewhat ironic that on the very day we celebrate Australia Day, India celebrates Republic Day, marking its independence from the British monarchy. I think it’s time we followed suit.

Do you think the debate about Australia becoming a republic should be reopened? Is it time to cut the ties with the mother land and stand on our own two feet?

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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