Queen knights 100-year-old war vet
The Queen has knighted Captain Sir Tom Moore in her first face-to-face engagement since lockdown - just hours after attending Princess Beatrice's secret wedding.
Before the ceremony the 100-year-old national treasure joked "if I kneel down, I'll never get up again, but I'm sure it'll go well, as she's done it before".
The Queen performed the special ceremony at Windsor Castle for the fundraising legend as a special exception, after he raised almost £33 million ($A59 million) for the National Health Service.
Earlier in the day, she and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, joined Prince Andrew, 60, at her granddaughter's scaled-down Covid-secure wedding with around 20 guests this morning.
And later the Queen's arrival into the quadrangle was signalled by the sound of bagpipes played by the Queen's Piper, Pipe Major Richard Grisdale, of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Waiting was hero Sir Tom and his family - daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, son-in-law Colin Ingram, grandson Benjie and granddaughter Georgia.
With her father's sword in her hand, the Queen, 94, lightly touched him first on his right shoulder then his left with the blade - dubbing him a knight.
She told him: "Thank you so much. An amazing amount of money you raised."
The WWII veteran walked 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April and raised millions.
He said afterwards: "It's an absolutely outstanding day.
"I could never ever believe beforehand that I was going to get such an honour as I have today.
"I never ever thought I could be so privileged to be so close to the Queen and speak to her."
He added: "I am absolutely overawed, this is such a high award and to get it from Her Majesty as well - what more can anyone wish for? This has been an absolutely magnificent day for me.
"The money is very useful but you've only one Queen and when you get a message from the Queen there's no value that can be placed on that.
"To meet the Queen was more than anyone could expect, never ever did I imagine I would get so close to the Queen and have such a kind message from her, that was really outstanding, it was truly outstanding."
Buckingham Palace believes it is the first time the "unique" format of his ceremony will have taken place, amid the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and Downing Street's announcement of Sir Tom's individual knighthood.
Strict social distancing rules were followed to keep everyone involved safe.
'TODAY WILL BE A GOOD DAY'
A post on Captain Sir Tom Moore's official Twitter account this morning shared a picture of him wearing his campaign medals ahead of the ceremony.
It read: "Good Morning! Ready and raring to go for what is a very special day. Thank you for all the well wishes, as ever, overwhelmed by your support. #todaywillbeagoodday."
His daughter said the investiture was the "icing on the cake" of her father's amazing year.
There were initial fears the ceremony would be delayed until the end of the year due to lockdown rules - but it went ahead without a hitch.
Members of the public were urged not to attend Windsor town centre or gather in the hope of seeing any of the ceremony.
To actually see the Queen in person - this is a step in the right direction, a step hopefully back to new normality, but it will be a very slow step.
Royal commentator Dickie Arbiter described the Queen's decision to give Sir Tom his knighthood in an individual ceremony as "very significant".
He added: "The Queen has always said she 'needs to be seen to be believed' so today she will be seen - the last time we actually saw her physically was in June in the alternative Trooping the Colour at Windsor Castle.
"To actually see the Queen in person - this is a step in the right direction, a step hopefully back to new normality, but it will be a very slow step."
It was the first time the Queen emerges from lockdown a scaled-back social-distancing Trooping the Colour inside Windsor Castle on June 13.
Captain Tom served in WWII, but at aged 99 he embarked on 100 laps of his garden in a bid to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished with permission.
Originally published as Queen knights 100-year-old war vet