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article imageOp-Ed: Prince Philip given Aussie knighthood, country baffled

By Paul Wallis     Jan 25, 2015 in World
Canberra - Nobody in Australia has anything much against Philip or the nice lady from whom we rent the English language. Nor are the royals personae non grata in Australia, by any stretch of the imagination. But we gave him an award, anyway.
The story is this:
Every Australia Day, Jan. 26, Australia’s awards are published. These awards are given for services to the nation or to the community, or other good reasons. Prince Philip qualifies, obviously, after a lifetime of service, and has received the Knighthood of the Order of Australia, our highest award. He seems to be a nice, acerbic, sarcastic bloke, and would do quite well as an Aussie if not otherwise engaged.
The nation, however, is wondering exactly why he’s been given yet another decoration to stack on to an already quite extensive collection. When wearing orders, you have to follow the protocols for wearing them, and he already has so many ours may be adding a bit of clutter, rather than honour.
The bitching session is about the fact that the current government reinstated all the old British Imperial honours, like knighthoods. There was a collective groan from the Australian Republic advocates, and a lot of curiosity from everyone about this return to the 1960s. Actually being called “Sir So And So” does add a distraction or so.
The Opposition is, well, in opposition to the whole idea, and wants to know why we’re giving our highest honour to a foreigner who’s somehow managed to live quite normally for 93 years without it.
Social media has gone nuts, asking whether it’s Australia Day or April Fool’s Day. Mainstream media have been quick to point out Prince Philip’s gaffes, and a Sydney Morning Herald survey says that 91 percent of the readers don’t think he should have been given an award — “Because it takes us back to the 18th century.”
The Prime Minister has been busily defending the award, while Twitter has been snowed under with comments, mainly from hysterical Aussies who can’t resist. Certainly making it a fun Australia Day, anyway.
So, as we gargle the National Anthem and thank god we only have to remember a couple of bars of it, we welcome our new knight. His shift starts at 3 a.m., and we need a few varlets and peons thoughtfully diced. When he’s finished with Canberra, he can provide some other much appreciated services.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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