Prince William showed no signs of nerves as he hosted his first investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. With a warm smile, the amiable royal performed his official duties with aplomb, all the while bringing his trademark good humour to proceedings.
Among those being honoured at the Palace was Andy Murray. The Scottish sports star is William and Kate’s favourite tennis player, and the Prince was no doubt delighted to see a familiar face as he navigated his way through the proceedings.
William looked particularly dapper for the ceremony in his RAF uniform. Having put in some practice, the dad-of-one expertly wielded the ceremonial sword and pinned awards on the recipients, including 26-year-old Andy, who received an OBE, Aled Jones and Vicar of Dibley producer Jon Plowman.
He was allocated just 30 seconds to chat to each guest, but his engaging nature ensured that each came away with a memory to treasure.
Andy was watched by his proud mum Judy, girlfriend Kim Sears and dad William as he received his OBE from the Prince. The Wimbledon champion smiled broadly as the medal was pinned on his chest.
It was William’s first time standing in for his grandmother the Queen at an investiture ceremony, and marked his first major step towards becoming a working royal since leaving operational military service in September. He was, understandably, nervous beforehand.
“William has been practising using the sword and pinning the medals on a servant so that he gets it right,” a royal source revealed ahead of the ceremony.
“He obviously doesn’t want to slice anyone’s ear off or stick a pin into their chest!
“He realises this is the biggest day in the lives of some people who are being honoured, and he wants it to go well for them,” continued the royal aide.
“His biggest challenges is being tall – it’s not easy to stoop down and talk to some of the smaller recipients and to pin the honours on.”
There are around 25 investiture ceremonies held annually at venues including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and sometimes even abroad.