Australia removes Knights and Dames from awards order

Canberra: The Queen of England has approved the Australian government proposal to remove Knights and Dames from the Australian honour system.

The honour system was reintroduced last year, when former Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the controversial call to reinstate Knights and Dames, Xinhua reported. He came under further fire for knighting Prince Phillip on Australia Day, with many in Parliament — including some from his own party — calling him “out of touch”. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is a Republican, released a statement on Monday, saying the Queen has given permission to scrap the titles from the Order of Australia.

“The cabinet recently considered the Order of Australia, in this its 40th anniversary year, and agreed that Knights and Dames are not appropriate in our modern honour system,” Turnbull said. “The cabinet resolved to recommend to her Majesty that she amend the letters patent, which establish the Order of Australia, so that Knights and Dames would no longer be appointed to the order.” Since the re-introduction of the titles last year, five people have been recognised as a Knight or Dame in Australia. However, Turnbull said the changes will not affect the titles of “existing Knights and Dames of the Order”.

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