Australia’s first female Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has finished her five year appointment. Her successor, Peter Cosgrove, will be sworn in today. He will also be awarded a knighthood (and Ms Bryce a dameship) after the Prime Minister asked the Queen to reintroduce those honours in Australia. The awarding of honours is a royal prerogative, though it is generally exercised on advice from the government. Knights and dames had been removed from the Australian honours system in 1986 at the request of the Hawke government.