After four months of lockdown, Queen Elizabeth II will be taking on her first in-person royal engagement. The 94-year-old monarch will be conducting a knighthood ceremony for 100-year-old Tom Moore, a former British officer, and Guinness World Record-breaking fundraiser.
This will be the first time Queen Elizabeth II will be engaging in a face-to-face engagement since coronavirus lockdown in March. When COVID-19 started spreading in the UK, the government advised the head of the state to move to her countryside estate Windsor Castle. Since then, the queen and her husband Prince Philip have been isolating together away from their official London home Buckingham Palace. The royal couple has not made any public appearance and have been living with reduced staff.
However, as the lockdown begins to ease out in the country, despite the ongoing pandemic, the palace has decided to make an exception with the investiture ceremony for Captain Moore, popularly known as Captain Tom for his extraordinary achievements in fundraising for charities. On his centenary birthday, that he celebrated on April 30, Moore raised £32.79 million by walking laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together. As per the charity page, he aimed at raising £1,000 by walking 100 laps until his birthday. However, he ended up raising tens of millions and became a household name.
The queen will honour the captain during a ceremony on Friday, at Windsor Castle, as per the statement. Moore's family and loved ones will bear witness to the prestigious moment of his life and accompany him to the palace.
Meanwhile, the captain responded to the big announcement showing great excitement on his Twitter account.
"A message from Tom '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. It is going to be the most special of days for me," Moore wrote on his latest post.
According to People, the queen will use her father King George V's sword to confer the Knight Bachelor honour on Moore. It is said that it was previously decided that all the investiture ceremonies for the months of June and July will be cancelled in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. However, the palace seems to be making an exception for the World War II veteran and Guinness Book of World record-breaking fundraiser.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Moore a "beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus.
"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," Johnson said in a statement as quoted by ITV.
"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."