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Prince Philip receives knight of Australia honour

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used the country's national day to announce a knighthood for Prince Philip. Mr Abbot, who reintroduced the honour just last year, said the Duke of Edinburgh, 93, was being honoured for his contribution to Australia over the course of the Queen's 62-year reign. In a statement issued on Monday, Mr Abbot said that the Queen had accepted his recommendation that the Prince and Scotland-born defence force chief Angus Houston "be awarded Australia's highest honour as Knights of the Order of Australia".

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Prince Philip has been made a knight of Australia

He added, "Prince Philip's long life of service and dedication should be honoured by Australia. For three quarters of a century, Prince Philip has served the Crown, and the wider Commonwealth. "He has served Australia with distinction and is patron of over 800 organisations." His decision has been praised by monarchists, but has been criticised in some quarters.

queen philip © Photo: Getty Images

The Duke Of Edinburgh was honoured for his 'long life of service and dedication'

Mr Abbot unexpectedly announced his decision to reinstate knights and dames into Australia's honours system last year, with the intention of recognising "pre-eminent Australians". The formal document confirmed that the honour could also be bestowed on non-Australians. The titles of knighthood and damehood were abolished in 1986 by former PM Bob Hawke. Prince Charles was made a Knight of the Order of Australia in 1981.

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