When monarchist Tony Abbott became Australia’s Prime Minister in September 2013, he promised no surprises. However, he seems to have ambushed friend and foe alike with his reinstatement of knights and dames as part of the honours system.
Twitter faced meltdown, down under, on 25 March 2013. The #auspol Tweetdeck feed was moving so fast that it was impossible to read. Not only were the hashtags #KnightsandDames and #Dames trending in Australia for hours after the announcement, but #KnightsandDames and Australia also hit the Worldwide top ten.
Many of the responses were satirical, with the inevitable medieval political jousting:
— Tory – Earl of Bogan (@DopedByMurdoch) March 26, 2014
— Lord Judge 'n Jury (@sprocket___) March 25, 2014
Some see it as a nostalgia trip:
— Bear (@s8s8s8222) March 25, 2014
Supporters of the PM are also looking to our past:
— ME (@stevesownnacc) March 25, 2014
Probably the greatest of all generasl in WW1, John Monash was recognized by The King knighting him on the battlefield pic.twitter.com/qTi85v4c60
— David Flint (@profdavidflint) March 25, 2014
Images have also been popular:
— Poet Laureate (@notGareth) March 25, 2014
A Rational Fear featured a series of photos of well-known Aussies in its tumblr post ARISE: Which Knight of Abbott’s round table are you? Each has a suitable punny name such as Sir Cumference for the portly Clive Palmer, Sir Mon for Cardinal George Pell and Sir Loin for the Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce.
Even politicians have joined the visual lampooning. Opposition parliamentarian Tony Burke is ready for combat on his Facebook page:
References to Monty Python’s movie The Holy Grail have been popular:
— Lauren Bok (@bokla) March 25, 2014
— Peter Holden (@BrekkyDJ) March 25, 2014
Former PM John Howard, a close political ally of Tony Abbott, is on everyone’s shortlist for a tap of the sword:
Oh now I get it. Well I guess John Howard had to get his knighthood somehow eh?
— Susan Fahey (@susanfahey) March 25, 2014
At this stage there will only be four members of the #KnightsandDames. If comedian Barry Humphries gets the nod, Australia could have two for the price of one:
— Lord Geek of Oceania (@geeksrulz) March 25, 2014
This comment was inevitable, given the date:
— Sir Barossa Observer (@BarossaObserver) March 25, 2014