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We Asked Brits How They Feel About Tony Abbott Knighting Prince Philip

"I mean the Duke of Edinburgh won't give a shit will he?"
January 29, 2015, 4:26am

Tony Abbott's decision to award the Order of Australia to the 93 year-old Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, was vastly unpopular at home. But then it's possible Abbott was getting at something Australians couldn't quite grasp. After all, there are two countries involved and we've only heard from the one less familiar with the Prince. So we took to London's Buckingham Palace to ask Brits what they think. Was there some wisdom to the award?



VICE: Did you know about the knighting of Prince Philip?
Yeah I thought it was a joke. I mean who does that benefit? On Australia Day? Which is all about Australia being independent. It was weird, the whole thing is just weird.

Do you know much about Tony Abbott?
Not really, I thought he was okay? The knighting is my only kind of visible sign of his policies and it's a bit of a weird one. What was motivating him? I mean the Duke of Edinburgh won't give a shit will he?

Maybe, he seemed sort of chuffed. How popular is Prince Philip over here?
Oh he's a bit of a joke. A bumbling old man who tends to say the wrong things. A lot. I mean, there's a genuine affection for the Queen. I'm a republican, but I mean you've got to admire her for keeping on for so long. But I don' t think anyone here has much time for Phil the Greek.


Are you aware that Prince Philip has been knighted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott?
Yeah but I don't understand why he's been knighted. I'm not aware of anything he's done to deserve it. Unless someone wants to inform me and the rest of the UK, I just don't know.

Prince Philip isn't a super popular guy over here?
No, but that's because he's never really in the press for the right reasons. I don't feel he does enough right things to be in the press and no—I don't think he deserves to be knighted.

What does justify a knighthood?
A lifetime work. And he hasn't done any of it.


So why do you think Australia are knighting him?
[Laughing] They're kissing arse. Sorry, but I think they are.

Why do you think this has been so unpopular in Australia?
That's because Australians are good people and he's not. That's pretty much it. I don't think Australians are stupid, they can tell when something is up. I think they're doing something dodgy behind people's backs.


Are you aware that last Sunday Prince Philip was knighted in Australia by our Prime Minister Tony Abbott?
Well I'm a republican, so I think the Australian labour parties' craven pursuit of the royals in Britain is awful and I'm very sad about it all.

Most Australian's aren't pro-republic, but the real oddity of it is an Australia Prime Minister knighting someone, and that he chose to knight Prince Philip.
Well Abbott's got an instinct for the jugular and on one level that's quite admirable. That's what politics is all about.

What do you think is motivating him?
I think he's getting his rocks off, winding up the opposition; showing his English roots, because he studied here.

They're saying that this decision could prove so unpopular that he'd lose next election over it.
Well I think that's a pity. The Labour party offers no serious republicanism or policy difference with the Liberal Party.


What's you opinion on the knighting of Prince Philip that took place on Australia Day?
Well I would have to think about that, I wouldn't be against it.


They're speculating that it could cost the Australian PM the next election.

Because it's such an odd thing to do and people aren't happy it.
Yes, well I guess it is an odd thing to do.

Can you tell me a bit about Prince Philip?
I'm a great fan of Prince Philip. I think he's been an incredible counsel, it's very hard to always be one step behind and I think he has been incredible. I think maybe when he was younger he may have been a naughty boy. But then what? They got married in 1947. That's sixty odd years of marriage and I think he's always been there. And sure, sometimes he says things he shouldn't say, but he says what he thinks. There's nothing wrong with that. I think we're far too PC and nonsensical these days anyhow.

He's already a Prince do you think there was any real need for another pat on the back?
I mean knighthoods, there isn't much purpose in them. But I would be in favour of it.


VICE: So you girls are from Canada, how does it feel to be part of the Commonwealth?
To be honest it's not something any Canadian takes much notice of. The Queen's head is on our money but that's about all.

Do you know who Prince Philip is?
The husband of the Queen.

Did you know that Prince Philip has been knighted by the Australian Prime Minister? It's been an unpopular move in Australia. How would it be received in Canada?
I don't think it anyone in Canada would really care. As long as he didn't have any influence on governance. I think it would just be seen as a figure head ceremony. I don't even think it would make the news to be honest.