Revealed: Why Tony Abbott knighted Prince Philip 235



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There’s no doubting Tony Abbott did many questionable things during his tenure as Prime Minister, however one that even his supporters had to admit was decidedly odd was bestowing a knighthood upon Prince Philip.

Writing in The Australian today, foreign editor Greg Sheridan says that Abbott’s “worst mistake” as PM was due to a combination of his personal loyalty and his deep, biding affection for the Queen.

“Awarding Philip an Australian knighthood was the worst mistake of Abbott’s tenure in office,” says Mr Sheridan.

“It made Abbott look ­absurdly antique and out of touch, reinforcing every negative stereotype about him. And, except for a few diehard enthusiastic monarchists, it cruelled the morale of the Liberal Party.”

Mr Sheridan goes on to say that the true story behind why Tony Abbott chose to knight Prince Philip has “not been revealed before and this information does not come from Abbott”.

He says the reason Abbott gave Philip his knighthood was simple: “because he learned the Queen wanted her husband to have one” and he was in a position to grant Her Majesty’s wish.

The backlash from the gesture was immense, and far outweighed the benefit to the Prime Minister. People wondered if he’d gone mad, the party was embarrassed. Sure, the majority of Australians may (or may not be) monarchists, but this was too far.

“That Abbott unilaterally ­restored knighthoods at all is an example of how poor his tactical judgment on political management sometimes was as prime minister,” writes Mr Sheridan.

“But for Queen to make a ­request of Abbott meant that all that was honourable and generous in Abbott — loyalty, chivalry, romance — was lined up against the pragmatic political judgment that should have guided him.”

But perhaps the biggest mistake, which the writer appears impressed by, is that the former Prime Minister never revealed his reason for bestowing the honour on the prince.

“Not only did Abbott endure enormous personal damage ­because of his loyalty to the Queen, he never leaked the ­exculpatory explanation, which does not excuse his error in judgment but gives it context, humanises it and may have made it a less toxic political issue.”

Tell us, what do you make of reasoning? Do you think Tony Abbott would have been treated less harshly had he revealed why knighted Prince Philip?


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  1. That was embarrasing.

    1 REPLY
    • Do not believe a word. The Queen has been around politicians for ever, never would have happened, and why Australia, ? Please, what a crock

  2. He’s a Pommie lover, being one himself. He was angling for his own Knighthood. So glad he’s gone, now we can get back to being Australia again.

    5 REPLY
    • Jean Williams Yes, I suppose he could be considered racist Jean, he seems to favour the Brits over us for some strange reason.

    • Heather Williams Whow, how rude you are Heather. Everyones entitled to an opinion. I cant see anyone else calling people idiots because they disagree with them. The UK was a long time ago in our history, we’re well and truly past that phase. We’re multi cultured now, or havent you noticed?

  3. If he had explained why, it would have been an even worse backlash. Just knighting prince Phillip was seen as a mistake, but admitting he did it to keep the queen happy only proves he cares more about the crown than he does for Australia. He also introduced his daughter to prince Harry…..could he be also interested in a royal wedding for his daughter??? Just wondering!!

    1 REPLY
    • That was because the ” Show ” was on the Harbor , and they all came back to Kirribilli House, Where the girls were, By the way Julia gave Sachen Tendulkar a gong, when she was in India, never consulted ANYONE, admitted it was a spur of the moment decision, WHY on earth does he deserve one, That is Okay with Labor, as I heard not one word of complaint, 2 sets of rules

  4. I never ever want to become like America and that is what could happen if we become a Republic. I hope I am dead before I see this happen. When I hear Kanye West announce he is going to run for President I absolutely cringe. As for Mr Abbott, I personally think he was a decent ethical man who did make some blunders. I have never seen any other PM bog in and do the dirty work like he did. He went up north WA to an Aboriginal location and got his hands dirty. I was sad to see him ousted in a similar manner to Rudd and Julia.

    13 REPLY
    • Hmmm got his hands dirty? That was after the backlash he received with his previous anti aboriginal policies and realized it had harmed him and the party…. I saw a video when he was first in office with an aboriginal kid and there was no sympathy or love or communication recognizable … Let’s face it , the media will show you what it wants you to believe and your comment is living proof of that… Neither Abbott nor the rest of the party care for the aboriginals, their policies enrich the likes of ms Reinhardt and Co, would not be surprised if they had received sizable donations for their election funds and beyond for this….how else can you explain these policies driving people from their land …

    • You haven’t been paying attention, lots of pm’s have got out and got their hands dirty. None of them pulled 500 million from Aboriginal funding though. Abbott did

    • I must be blind Sue because I haven’t seen too many. I certainly haven’t seen any of them go out and help fight a fire.

    • He didn’t help fight the fire. He got in their way & had a dress-up photo opportunity. Ask the fire fighters

    • Tony loves dress up. Particularly when he gets to put on a military uniform. He is going to miss that.

    • Think most of America would cringe at the thought of Kanye west being their president. Believe they are more educated and savvy than to allow him anywhere near the White House.

    • LOL, fight a fire, he was as clean as a whistle!! If you’d ever been near a bushfire you’d know it takes two minutes for them to get filthy

      1 REPLY
      • been there and agree sometimes less than two minutes to get covered in smoke and ash but poor tony never seemed to get dirty.

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