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Australia to end British honours

Wednesday 4 November 2015 | Published in Regional


CANBERRA – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared Monday that his government will no longer recognize “knights” and “dames.”

The government typically bestows the traditional British honour upon citizens who have performed extraordinary public service, but Turnbull said the terms are “anachronistic, out of date and not appropriate in 2015 for Australia.”

A statement by Turnbull says citizens will still be recognized for good deeds but will not be termed “knights” or “dames” by the Order of Australia, which is now in its 40th year.

The policy change will not affect existing “knights” and “dames.”

The Washington Post reported that Turnbull, who ascended to power in September, is “a noted anti-monarchist” who once led a failed movement to rid the country of its constitutional monarchy and install an independent republic in its place.

The Post reported a warm bipartisan reception to Turnbull’s decision, which was approved by the queen.

Chris Bowen, a member of parliament and the opposing Labor Party, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp: “It is not appropriate in modern day Australia that we are clinging onto imperial Britain through our honors system.”

However, the Australian Monarchist League told ABC that the decision “gives all who value constitutional security and stability cause for concern that this is just the beginning of another campaign of republicanism by stealth.”