National treasure Sir David Attenborough has been awarded his Knight Grand Cross honour by fellow avid environmentalist the Prince of Wales.
The 96-year-old broadcaster collected his Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to television broadcasting and to conservation on Wednesday.
The drizzly weather did not dampen the excitement around the castle, as journalists thronged the grounds outside, clamouring for a glimpse of the veteran wildlife film-maker.
Sir David even left athlete Laura Sugar, who won a paracanoe gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, feeling like a “fan girl”.
“I had no idea he was going to be here today so that was extra special.”
Sir David’s career spans seven decades and he is a member of the Earthshot Prize council, an initiative launched by the Duke of Cambridge to find solutions to environmental issues.
William highlighted the efforts of “visionary environmentalists” during that section of the show, which saw a clip of Sir David projected on to Buckingham Palace.
The duke also spoke about the pride he felt for “my grandfather and my father” – the Duke of Edinburgh and Charles – who have championed the natural world.
Actor Toby Jones, who collected his OBE for services to drama, said: “Theatre needs a lot of support to come out from the pandemic – it is one of the areas of culture that has been most hit and it is going to need a lot of imagination on the part of Government to realise the creative contribution, the health contribution, mental health contribution that theatre, along with all the other arts, provides.”
Spy chief Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, was also due to receive his knighthood after he was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to national security.