Queen knights UK lockdown fund-raiser Captain Sir Tom Moore

Second World War veteran who raised spirits and millions for charity honoured with unique outdoor ceremony at age 100

Britain's Queen Elizabeth awards Captain Tom Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, Britain July 17, 2020. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
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Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old war veteran who raised millions of pounds for the National Health Service in England and brought hope and joy to many as the UK suffered through the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

The much-loved Captain Moore raised almost £33 million (Dh152m) for health service charities by completing 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire, England, with the aid of a walking frame.

The Second World War veteran was joined by members of his family for an unprecedented outdoor investiture ceremony held in a courtyard of the royal residence Windsor Castle on Friday.

100-year-old WWII veteran Captain Tom Moore poses with his medal after being made a Knight Bachelor during an investiture at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on July 17, 2020.
 British World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore was made a a Knight Bachelor (Knighthood) for raising over £32 million for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. / AFP / POOL / Chris Jackson
The former Army officer has been recognised for lifting the spirits of the nation during the gloom of the coronavirus outbreak. AFP

Before the ceremony, Sir Tom said: “It is going to be the most special of days for me. I could never have imagined this would happen to me. It is such a huge honour and I am very much looking forward to meeting Her Majesty The Queen,” he said on Twitter.

All other investitures planned for June and due to be held at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, had been postponed due to the pandemic, but a special exception was made for Sir Tom.

The Queen, who is 94, has been sheltering at Windsor Castle since March because of the coronavirus outbreak but carried out the official engagement in person using a sword that belonged to her father, King George VI. Buckingham Palace said it believed it is the first time the “unique” format for the ceremony had taken place.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson nominated Sir Tom for the award in May, prompting his intended recipient to quip: "I hope she's not very heavy-handed with the sword."