As if we couldn’t love Captain Sir Tom Moore any more, the 100-year-old war veteran has now gone and chosen his family over an afternoon tea with the Queen herself.
The captain, who became an honourary colonel after his enormous fundraising effort for the NHS, officially become Captain Sir Tom Moore after being knighted by the Queen in a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Friday.
And apparently the monarch then invited the captain for tea at the palace afterwards, but he was forced to decline as he had already made plans to go to The Castle Hotel Windsor with his family, according to ITV.
The hotel was super excited to welcome the group, taking to social media to share some happy snaps.
“Congratulations on your knighthood #CaptainSirTomMoore,” the venue captioned the images, showing Tom with his daughter and grandchildren.
“We are incredibly honoured to have welcomed you and your family for Afternoon Tea on your very special day.
“Thank you for all that you have achieved, you are a true inspiration to us all.”
And in a later post, the hotel joked: “While we highly recommend a tea at the Castle Hotel, we might have had to cancel to join the Queen!”
But the veteran spoke highly of the Queen and the experience.
“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 said on BBC Breakfast on Saturday.
“We really enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and to have that honour, really, that is something very special.”
He also said he and the Queen had a private chat that would “stay between the two of us for all time.”
Sir Tom set out to walk 100 lengths of his back garden before his 100th birthday, and hoped to raise £1000 ($1,800 AUD).
But his efforts caught the hearts and attention of the nation, and he raised more than £33 million ($59M AUD), as he continued to walk longer than his original target too.
His birthday was marked with an RAF flypast and a card from the Queen, hand delivered by her representative in Bedfordshire.
The Queen knighting Captain Tom Moore in person is a step back to normality, according to a royal expert.
Dickie Arbiter, royal commenter, said the in person ceremony was “very significant”.
Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, told BBC Breakfast: “This is an opportunity for the Queen to meet the great man face-to-face and acknowledge his achievement.
“Raising just under £33 million for the NHS is no mean achievement in anybody’s book but to do it at 100 is an amazing achievement.
“The Queen has always said she ‘needs to be seen to be believed’ so today she will be seen – the last time we actually saw her physically was in June in the alternative Trooping of the Colour at Windsor Castle.
“To actually see the Queen in person – this is a step in the right direction, a step hopefully back to new normality, but it will be a very slow step.”
The Queen had to postpone investiture ceremonies this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and this is the first one for months.
It comes after a couple of weeks of the royals returning to in-person engagements, with Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Sophie and Edward all carrying out socially distant visits, primarily outdoors.
Additional reporting by Rebecca Taylor.