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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Tom Jones collects his knighthood
Tom Jones knighted by the Queen

Singer Tom Jones has been knighted at Buckingham Palace for services to music.

He was invested as Thomas Woodward, his real name and the one under which he began singing for relatives as a boy in the south Wales valleys in the 1940s.

The 65-year-old miner's son said accepting the knighthood was a "great and humbling honour".

Speaking after the investiture, he said: "It is fantastic. It was lovely to see the Queen again.

"I love seeing the Queen and I have always been a royalist. She is lovely and she still is lovely.

"She has got a great smile and her whole face lights up when she smiles."

Young Tom Jones

Sir Tom was dressed in tails and sporting a goatee beard when he knelt before beneath the sword on Wednesday.

The 65-year-old, who first met the Queen at a Royal Charity performance in 1966, was accompanied by his son, daughter and granddaughter when he arrived to pick up his award.

The singer was awarded an OBE in 1999, an event he described as "very special".

Sir Tom said the Queen asked him how long he had been in showbusiness, since she remembered his performance in 1966.

"I told her 41 years successfully and she said to me that I had given a lot of people a lot of pleasure."

He said: "Today is just tremendous. When you first come into showbusiness and you get a hit record, it is the start of something.

"As time goes on, it just gets better. This is the best thing that I have had. It is a wonderful feeling, a heady feeling.

"Sometimes you just can't believe it, you think you have been dreaming."

But Sir Tom has no plans to retire.

He has a new dance record out next month and is touring in the UK in October and November.


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