As a general observation, I’m finding it quite amusing how many Aussie pundits don’t seem to understand that accumulating more than one knighthood from more than one nation is extremely common at the highest levels of the royalty/nobility/courtier/diplomat/military pyramids. Not that this makes Tony Abbott’s decision any less ridiculous on various political grounds (for instance, Philip has been a Companion of the Order of Australia since 1988, is more really necessary?), but it does mean that the idea of giving a royal Duke a knighthood is not per se unprecedented (the current Prince of Wales was made a Knight of the Order of Australia by the Fraser government in 1981 before the Hawke government discontinued the grade in 1986). The primary absurdity came with the Abbott government restoring the grades of Knight/Dame to the Order of Australia in the first place, such secondary absurdities as this particular captain’s pick were inevitable from that point forward (even The Australian‘s editorial agrees on how bizarre this decision was).
Just to emphasise how little this honour is likely to mean for someone literally with a cupboard full of the beasts for his valet to keep polished: Britain has six separate domestic orders of chivalry which include knighthoods, and every single royal duke is a knight in several of them (Philip has been a Knight of the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle and the Order of the British Empire (KG, KT, GBE) since the early years of his marriage to the Queen). Philip also holds knighthoods (according to Wikipedia) from Greece, Denmark, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Sweden, Ethiopia, Portugal, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Nepal, Finland, Tunisia, Liberia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Belgium, Iceland, Luxembourg, and Spain. Some of those nations have awarded him multiple knighthoods over the decades. Philip has also been appointed to many other orders of chivalry within and without Britain with titles other than that of Knight.
The big question now is whether the outcry over this knightly appointment will stop the eventual dubbing of Sir Rupert in due time (as a US citizen he would only properly be entitled to the letters KA following his name but not the prefix title “Sir”, but can anyone imagine him correcting anyone who called him “Sir Rupert”?).
What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?
As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).