Tap above to watch video report by Joshua Stokes
Community heroes who kept the country afloat during the coronavirus crisis have been honoured in the first royal investiture ceremony since the national lockdown.
The Prince of Wales presented awards to 32 recipients in a scaled-down ceremony at St James’s Palace in London on Wednesday.
They included “Skipping Sikh” Rajinder Harzall, who was made an MBE for services to health and fitness during Covid-19 after raising more than £14,000 for the NHS by sharing his skipping videos on social media.
The 74-year-old said Charles told him he had inspired him to try out skipping himself.
Speaking afterwards, he said: “I’m very grateful for this honour.
“I spoke with Prince Charles and he said he will try skipping, and then he said we were born in the same month. He was very pleased.”
Asked if he would give the heir to the throne skipping lessons, Mr Harzall, who can skip at a rate of 200 jumps per minute, said: “Why not!”
Mr Harzall, who lives in Hayes, west London, moved to England from Punjab in the 1970s and became a Heathrow Airport driver.
Wearing his distinctive orange turban and “Skipping Sikh” sports jacket at the ceremony, he said: “The turban makes it harder to skip because you have to raise (the rope) higher.
“But my advice to old people is to just try – do whatever you can, even if it’s sitting down exercise – and don’t give up.”
Mr Harzall said his father, who was a soldier, taught him to skip at the age of five, and his daughter, Minreet Kaur, who attended the ceremony with him, encouraged him to share his skipping videos on Twitter.
Next year he will be taking part in the London Marathon for Mencap, which supports people with learning disabilities.