Captain Sir Tom Moore has said being knighted by the Queen was something very special.
The national hero was personally thanked by the Queen for raising an amazing amount of money for the NHS when she bestowed him during a unique ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Sir Tom appeared humbled following his audience with the monarch and said he was “absolutely overawed” to receive the investiture on Friday.
The centenarian had set out to raise £1,000 for the health service by walking 100 laps of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, before his 100th birthday on April 30.
ut his efforts struck a chord with national mood and he went on to raise almost £33 million.
He said being knighted had been a marvellous day and the Queen was an absolute dream of a person.
You never, ever could imagine what it was like to be so close to the Queen, who is an absolute dream of a person, he told BBC Breakfast on Saturday.
We really enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and to have that honour, really, that is something very special.
In glorious summer sunshine and with his family standing nearby, the head of state heaped praise on the Second World War veteran, saying: Thank you so much, an amazing amount of money you raised.
But viewers were left in hysterics when host Charlie Stayt unsuccessfully probed Sir Tom for what words were exchanged between him and Her Majesty.
Sir Tom replied: The Queen and I had a little private conversation and that will stay between the two of us for all time, and it’s very nice of you to ask the question but I’m not going to give you an answer.
Charlie returned: Sir Tom has just put me in my place there, he’s not going to say anything.
The Queen appeared to warm to Sir Tom, who is from the same wartime generation as the monarch, and his family, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, son-in-law Colin Ingram, grandson Benjie and granddaughter Georgia.
In her first face-to-face royal engagement with the public since March, albeit with social distancing, she chatted to them for around five minutes following Princess Beatrice’s wedding earlier in the day.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally recommended Sir Tom for the honour, after hailing the veteran for having “provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus” and recommended he be knighted.