Captain Sir Tom Moore knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle

17 July 2020, 15:08 | Updated: 17 July 2020, 16:04

The Queen Confers The Honour Of Knighthood On Captain Sir Thomas Moore
The Queen Confers The Honour Of Knighthood On Captain Sir Thomas Moore. Picture: Getty

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle to recognise his achievement of raising nearly £33 million for health charities amid the pandemic.

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran, who walked laps of his garden to raise the huge sum of cash, stood on the castle's quadrangle on Friday as the Queen used her father's sword to bestow the honours.

He was accompanied by his family for the historic moment, which is believed to be the first time this ceremony format has taken place.

Abiding by strict social distancing rules, the Queen lightly touched Sir Tom on his right shoulder with King George VI's sword, before moving to his left - making him a knight.

She personally thanked the veteran during a five-minute conversation for "an amazing amount of money" raised, before commenting on his age to say: "One hundred is a great age."

Talk then turned to COVID-19, with the Queen asking: "Have you been shut up - been isolating?"

The Queen has been shielding since the beginning of the pandemic in her Berkshire home alongside Prince Philip.

For Friday's ceremony, she was accompanied on the quadrangle by the Master of the Household, retired Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt - who carried the insignia of Knight Bachelor - and one of the Pages, who carried the sword.

The Queen chatted with Sir Tom about his achievements and the pandemic
The Queen chatted with Sir Tom about his achievements and the pandemic. Picture: PA

It was the first face-to-face royal engagement for the monarch since March.

Other investitures due to take place at Buckingham Palace have so far been postponed amid the pandemic - but the 94-year-old decided to make a special exception for Sir Tom.

The Queen knighted Sir Tom in a unique open-air ceremony
The Queen knighted Sir Tom in a unique open-air ceremony. Picture: Getty

The former Army officer had initially set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday in April.

But what started out as a modest target quickly transformed as he garnered legions of fans, smashed through his goal, and went on to raise millions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid special tribute, saying Sir Tom had "provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus" as he recommended the special knighthood.

The ceremony itself was not made public, but the special moment was witnessed by his family - daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, son-in-law Colin Ingram, grandson Benji and granddaughter Georgia.

Strict social distancing guidelines were abided by during the ceremony
Strict social distancing guidelines were abided by during the ceremony. Picture: PA

It also marked a jam-packed day for the Queen, who had earlier attended the wedding of her granddaughter Prince Beatrice to her property tycoon husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a chapel nearby.

The ceremony had also been a private event with just 20 people in attendance, and having been previously unannounced.

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