Australia Day 'Knightmare' as Prince Philip gets top honor

Prince Philip seen in happier times with the Australian public during a royal visit to Perth in 2011.

Story highlights

  • Social media storm over Australian PM's decision to knight Prince Philip
  • One of two knighthoods announced on Australia Day
  • Tony Abbott dismisses social media reaction as "electronic graffiti"

(CNN)Prime Minister Tony Abbott has shirt-fronted the Australian public by awarding a Knighthood to a foreigner who already has a lot silverware in the pool room: Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

As the nation choked on its cornflakes, many took to social media to express shock and dismay and repeat the question, "Is this a joke?"
    At an Australia Day function in Canberra, Abbott was forced to defend his decision and dismissed the reaction on Twitter as "electronic graffiti."
      "I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media. You wouldn't report what's sprayed up on the walls of buildings," Abbott was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.