Prince Philip’s controversial knighthood ‘brought end’ to Australian Prime Minister career

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FORMER Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, suffered a huge blow to his position as the country’s leader when he bestowed Prince Philip with a knighthood that left Australians furious.

Mr Whitfeld told ITV’s Royal Rota podcast: “Prince Philip wasn’t just the consort to the Queen for more than seven decades.

“He visited Australia a number of times without the Queen herself.

“I think for a lot of people when they hear the Duke of Edinburgh a lot of young people may not make the connection with the Duke of Edinburgh’s awards scheme without knowing the person.

“It’s an award scheme that of three-quarters of a million Australians have taken part in.”

prince philip news tony abbott order of australia
Prince Philip’s controversial knighthood ‘brought end’ to Australia PM Tony Abbott career (Image: GETTY)

prince philip news tony abbott order of australia

Mr Whitfeld said: ‘He visited Australia a number of times without the Queen herself.’ (Image: ITV)

He continued: “So it’s had a significant impact on a lot of people’s lives.

“There’s all sorts of stories that we can bring up about Prince Philip, whether it’s the comments that he made to particular people over the years or the controversy with Tony Abbott.

“One of the things that brought his prime ministership to an end was knighting Prince Philip in the Order of Australia.

“That Order of Australia was part of the insignia that was displayed on the altar at the chapel.”

prince philip news tony abbott order of australia

Prince Philip receiving his Order of Australia award. (Image: GETTY)

prince philip news tony abbott order of australia

Mr Abbott’s own party also turned against him as he didn’t consult them before making the decision. (Image: GETTY)

The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry, first established in 1975.

In 2014, Prime Minister Abbott advised the Queen to reinstate the level of knight/dame.

He pledged that the knighthoods would be to recognise Australians and their contributions.

prince philip news tony abbott order of australia

WHAT IS THE ORDER OF THE GARTER? (Image: EXPRESS)

Mr Abbott’s own party also turned against him as he didn’t consult them before making the decision.

Despite the fury from Australians, Mr Whitfeld claimed that there was a very sympathetic view to the Duke’s death.

He told listeners: “We ran coverage for a good 10 days, there was significant interest in it. There was interest in the funeral significantly, even though it was on at midnight on the Australian east coast.

“I think overwhelmingly people were, more than anything, thinking about the Queen, which was the vibe that I picked up in Windsor as well.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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