Captain Sir Tom Moore to be knighted by Queen in unique ceremony on Friday

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Fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore is to be knighted by the Queen in his own unique personal open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle on Friday.

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran will travel to the historic Berkshire royal residence with members of his family for the special outdoor investiture.

He won the hearts of the nation for his determination after originally setting out to raise just £1,000.

Royal investitures were put on hold during the pandemic and those scheduled to take place at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in June and July were postponed.

Captain Sir Tom
Captain Sir Tom Moore will be joined by his grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, and granddaughter Georgia (Joe Giddens/PA)

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “On occasion, the Queen invests individuals privately during audiences.

“Captain Sir Tom Moore’s knighthood was, exceptionally, announced individually by the Prime Minister, outside of the usual announcements of the Queen’s Birthday Honours and the New Year Honours.

“Captain Sir Tom and his family were hopeful the investiture could take place in a timely fashion and we are pleased it has been possible on this occasion.”

The Queen
The Queen during a ceremony at Windsor to mark her official birthday in June (Toby Melville/PA)

Buckingham Palace said they believe it is the first time this “unique” format will have taken place, amid the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and the announcement of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s individual knighthood by Downing Street.

The Queen will use the sword that belonged to her father, King George VI, and will present Captain Sir Tom with the insignia of Knight Bachelor.

The insignia, which hangs on a red ribbon edged in gold and is usually placed around the recipient’s neck, will be part of the ceremony, but the Palace is still looking at how best to abide by social distancing rules.

Captain Sir Tom
The Second World War veteran celebrating his 100th birthday (Emma Sohl/Capture the Light Photography/PA)

The monarch has been staying at Windsor with the Duke of Edinburgh and a reduced household dubbed HMS Bubble.

Outdoor investitures are very rare.

The Queen formally invested her son, the Prince of Wales, with his title in 1969 in the grounds of Caernarfon Castle in a grand ceremony, but this was attended by hundreds of guests.

The scene at Caernarfon Castle
The scene at Caernarfon Castle for the investiture of the Prince of Wales (PA)

In 1954, the Queen knighted the Councillor of the Kathiri State in Eastern Aden in an open-air ceremony during a Commonwealth tour.

Joining Captain Sir Tom for the ceremony will be his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, son-in-law Colin Ingram, grandson Benji and granddaughter Georgia.

A wet weather contingency plan is in place, although sunshine and warm temperatures are forecast for Windsor on Friday.

The Queen in 1954
The Queen bestowing a knighthood on Seiyid Bubakr Bin Sheikh Al Kaf, Councillor of the Kathiri State in Eastern Aden, at an open-air investiture in 1954 (PA)

The investiture will take place entirely within the confines of Windsor Castle, with no viewing positions for the public.

The numbers involved will be kept to a minimum, without a military band.

Afterwards, Captain Sir Tom and his family will be served refreshments inside the Castle, but the Queen will only be attending the ceremony.

Philip, 99, who retired from public duties in 2017, will not be present.

Captain Sir Tom marked his milestone 100th birthday in April, receiving congratulations from the Queen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and many more well-wishers.

He was sent more than 125,000 cards from across the globe.

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