The Second World War veteran received the knighthood during a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Friday. But afterwards Sir Tom “politely declined” the Queen’s invitation for tea with his family as they had already made other plans.
ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship tweeted: “My favourite news line of the day: The Queen had offered to host tea for Captain Tom Moore after his knighthood today – but he already had other plans with his family. So politely declined!!”
The family celebrated by having a traditional afternoon cream tea at a nearby hotel.
The veteran had set out to raise £1,000 for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday on April 30.
But he has gone on to raise almost £33million and become a national hero during the coronavirus crisis.
Sir Tom was thanked by the Queen who said: “Thank you so much, an amazing amount of money you raised.”
Speaking after the ceremony, the veteran said: “When you think that about four months ago I was just Tom Moore, now I’m Sir Tom Moore, no one could ever have believed that, in that time it would happen to me.
“I’ve been really honoured that this should happen and I’m thrilled that it did happen, and thank you everyone who subscribed to the fund, I really appreciate it and thank you all very much.”
Sir Tom was joined by his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, son-in-law Colin Ingram, grandson Benjie and granddaughter Georgia.
He said: “I am absolutely overawed, this is such a high award and to get it from Her Majesty as well, what more can anyone wish for?
“This has been an absolutely magnificent day for me.
“To meet the Queen was more than anyone could expect, never ever did I imagine I would get so close to the Queen and have such a kind message from her, that was really outstanding, it was truly outstanding.”
But Sir Tom would not reveal what he and the Queen had spoken about when asked.
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He said: “No. That’s between the Queen and I.
“I don’t think I’ll tell anybody what she said, it was just the Queen and I speaking privately and it was a great honour for me to be able to speak to her at all.”
Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Saturday, the veteran said receiving the knighthood had been a “marvellous day”.
He added: “You never, ever could imagine what it was like to be so close to the Queen, who is an absolute dream of a person.
“We really enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and to have that honour, really, that is something very special.”
Asked how he wanted to be referred to now, the fundraising hero said: “I’m still Captain Tom, I think that’s the easy one, people will be able to remember that.
“So just straightforward Captain Tom or, if we get a bit closer, just Tom.”
Sir Tom was congratulated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tweeted: “Arise Sir Tom! So richly deserved – you have inspired the whole nation with your fantastic fundraising efforts.”