Queen Elizabeth II made one of her first public appearances in months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.K. to knight Captain Tom Moore, a 100-year-old veteran who raised more than $40 million for the country’s health system by walking laps in his yard.
- Moore, who celebrated his 100th birthday in April, was named a knight in an ancient ceremony at Windsor Castle Friday, which involved the Queen tapping Moore on the shoulder with the flat side of a sword that belonged to King George VI, the Queen’s father.
- While he initially aimed to raise roughly $1,200 in early April for a charity benefiting the U.K.’s National Health Service by making 100 laps around his yard for his 100th birthday, Moore’s story soon became a nationwide sensation and he ended up shattering his previous goal by raising more than $40 million.
- Moore, a World War II veteran, thanked the Royal Family after the ceremony, saying in a Twitter statement, “I have been overwhelmed by the many honors I have received over the past weeks, but there is simply nothing that can compare to this, I am overwhelmed with pride and joy.”
- He has already been granted an “honorary colonel” title from the U.K.’s defense ministry, and a Point of Light award from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
- It was at least the Queen’s second engagement of the day at Windsor, having already attended her granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s small wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a property developer, after their nuptials scheduled for May had to be pushed back because of the pandemic.
- The queen cancelled many of her engagements in March as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, but appears to be slowly returning to her public duties—last month, she stepped out for a military ceremony to celebrate her 94th birthday.
Windsor Castle, roughly 25 miles west of London, is believed to be the Queen’s favorite of her estates. It was on the Windsor Castle grounds that Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018. The Queen has stayed at Windsor since she left her London home, Buckingham Palace, in March with her husband, the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, and a “small number of staff,” according to the BBC. Her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, tested positive for coronavirus in March.