WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old who raised more than $40 million for frontline healthcare workers in England was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in a personal ceremony on Friday.
Congratulations Sir @captaintommoore!
The 100-year-old WWII veteran who raised more than $40 million for frontline healthcare workers by taking 100 laps of his back garden has been knighted by the Queen.pic.twitter.com/N5gKJFl4AV
— KSL NewsRadio (@kslnewsradio) July 17, 2020
The mustached World War II veteran began a fundraiser to raise £1,000 ($1,257) by his 100th birthday by taking laps in his garden to show appreciation for the NHS staff that helped him recover from fighting cancer and a broken hip in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that goal was quickly met, and exceeded.
By the end of his trek through the yard, Moore had raised more than $40 million.
For his efforts, Moore, who became a captain during his WWII service in India and Myanmar, was promoted to honorary colonel and was personally nominated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to receive a knighting.
“Colonel Tom’s fantastic fundraising broke records, inspired the whole country and provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus,” said Johnson in a release from Downing Street in May.
“On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge thank you. He’s a true national treasure.”
Earlier this week Moore was awarded the captainship of the English National Football team’s Lionhearts by David Beckham. The program was set up to pay homage to 23 inspirational individuals who had gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday we welcomed the the first member of our #Lionhearts – with a little help from David Beckham!
— England (@England) July 12, 2020
First public appearance by the Queen
Since the onset of the coronavirus, the Queen has been quarantining at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip since March 19, but she performed the ceremony in person on Friday making will be her first public appearance since the beginning of the pandemic.
“It isn’t everybody that gets the chance to see the Queen, is it? I think that’s going to be absolutely marvelous for me,” Moore told reporters as he left his home on Friday morning.
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) July 17, 2020
Earlier he had joked that he hoped the queen would be gentle with her sword.
“I hope she’s not very heavy-handed with the sword as by then I might be rather a poor old weak soul,” he joked during an appearance on BBC Breakfast.
The Independent reports that the Queen spent about five minutes speaking to Sir Tom and his family and praised Moore for his fundraising, saying, “Thank you so much, an amazing amount of money you raised.”
She then knighted Captain Tom using a sword that belonged to her father, King George VI.
Royal investitures had been postponed during the pandemic, making Friday’s ceremony unique.
“This is, I believe, the first individual investiture,” Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram told the BBC.
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore!
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 17, 2020
“Protocol is being written as we speak and we will simply be doing as we are told.”
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