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Australia drops knights and dames titles

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia is dumping the titles “knights” and “dames” – again. The government had scratched the honorary titles, granted for public service, in 1986 as anachronisms.

But former Prime Minister Tony Abbott revived them a year ago during his time in office and was widely ridiculed for making Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, a knight on Australia’s national day earlier this year, instead of honoring a worthy Australian.

Many point to the decision as the beginning of the end of Abbott’s tenure. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who took over from Abbott in September, announced on Monday that the queen had agreed to an Australian Cabinet recommendation to remove knights and dames from the Order of Australia.

The Cabinet agreed that “knights and dames are not appropriate in our modern honors system,” Turnbull said in a statement. Existing knights and dames, including Prince Philip, will retain their titles.