There was an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 9th October and it saw The Queen bestow a knighthood on Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soames.
The Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex was honoured for his political service during the ceremony and he couldn’t have been happier. Nicholas commented, “To be dubbed by my Sovereign is an absolutely wonderful honour for me and my family.”
Sir Nicholas Soames was first elected to Parliament way back in 1983 for the seat of Crawley and held that seat up until the 1997 General Election where he won his current constituency, which to date he still holds. Under Prime Minister John Major, Nicholas was Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence and Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Between 2003 and 2005, Nicholas Soames was also Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.
What made the honour at Buckingham Palace even more special for Mr Soames was the fact that he is a close friend of The Prince of Wales and during the early 1970’s he even served as The Prince’s equerry.
Speaking of the investiture, Nicholas Soames said, “The Queen was very nice to me. I told her I’d been in Parliament 30 years and she said ‘It goes like a flash when you’re really busy’.”
Sir Nicholas Soames is now on the back benches, though he is President of the Conservative Middle East Council and chairman of the cross-party group on balanced migration.
It wasn’t just Nicholas Soames who was honoured at Buckingham Palace on Thursday – virtuoso pianist Stephen Hough was also recognised. Mr Hough became a CBE and was overjoyed that his line of work was being recognised in this way. “It is wonderful that the arts, which in one sense is entertainment, are recognised in this way. It is something you hope brings joy to people in ways you can’t quite put your finger on, because music just disappears in to the air.” he said.
There are around 25 investitures a year and the majority of them take place in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, though on some occasions they do take place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, or in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle.