Captain Tom Moore: UK public claps in tribute
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The Queen reassured Captain Tom she would be “quite gentle” with the sword as she was knighting him during a one of a kind ceremony. The monarch acknowledged the extraordinary effort carried out by Captain Sir Tom Moore during the first national lockdown and led a special investiture ceremony for him.
The knighting of Captain Tom took place on July 17 2020 in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle.
On the momentous day, Captain Tom was accompanied by his beloved daughter Hannah, her husband Colin and their children Benjie and Georgia.
One year after Captain Tom’s death, his daughter recalled a cheeky exchange between her father and the sovereign concerning the process of the investiture and the use of King George VI’s sword.
She told OK! magazine: “My father said he’d never repeat what the Queen said to him, so I won’t say, but one thing he did say publicly was, ‘I hope she’s not too heavy handed with the sword as I might not get back up!’
“When he was being knighted she leaned in quietly and said: ‘I’ve done it quite a few times before and I’m quite gentle!’
“It was just fabulous and so funny.
“She said to me, ‘I want to thank you on behalf of the nation for everything you’ve done’.”
The captain himself recalled his meeting with the Queen a few days after he had been knighted.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, he said of the experience: “It was absolutely amazing.
“I never ever had such a time in all my life as to be there speaking to the Queen who was such a delightful person. She was absolutely marvellous.
“When she tapped me on the shoulder, with the sword which had been her father’s she did it so gently.
“She was the kindest person you could ever wish to meet.”
Captain Tom Moore: Funeral procession takes place in February
Hannah confirmed meeting the sovereign had been a dream coming true for her father.
She said: “They were from the same generation and they were in the war together.
“He respected her like no other. He wasn’t nervous to meet her.
“In the car on the way there, he said, ‘I’m looking forward to talking to her.’
“At the time I sort of thought if he died the next day it would be alright because it was the thing of things for him.
“It was the biggest honour that could have been bestowed on him.”
Indeed the Queen made a rare exception when she decided to knight Captain Tom in the midst of the first wave of Covid infections.
While she had regularly led investitures up to March 2020, the monarch hasn’t resumed this duty since the beginning of the Covid crisis and has since only awarded honours during one-to-one meetings.
Captain Tom stunned the UK when, in the run-up to his 100th birthday in April 2020, he pledged to complete 100 laps of Hannah’s yard to raise money for NHS Charities Together.
The WW2 veteran initially set his target to £1000.
However, his story and efforts charmed the whole of the UK and the captain ended up raising almost £33million in support of the national health service.
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