Prince Harry has been knighted by the Queen in a private ceremony

Prince Harry has been appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) by his grandmother, the Queen, in a private ceremony. The service took place in Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Prince Harry and the Queen have a close relationship

The KCVO is the only knighthood that can be awarded personally by the Queen rather than by ministerial recommendation, and now means that Harry can be called a Sir. It is awarded to people who have served the Queen or the Monarchy in a personal way.

The announcement came at 6pm on Thursday in a short email from the Palace which read: "THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN.

"The Queen has been pleased to make the following appointment to the Royal Victorian Order:- To be a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO), HRH Prince Henry of Wales."

The news comes as the young Prince prepares to leave the army at the end of June after ten years.

He has been a member of the armed services since 2005, and underwent two tours of Afghanistan.

Harry and the Queen have a close relationship, and their affection was clear to see as they warmly greeted each other at the opening of the Royal Chelsea Flower Show in May.

The pair were all smiles at the Chelsea Flower Show in May

The monarch's face was wreathed in smiles as 30-year-old Harry leaned down to plant a kiss on his grandmother's cheek. Before the Queen's arrival, Harry told the BBC that he couldn't wait to show the Queen the African-themed space for Harry's charity Sentebale, and that he hadn't seen his "grandma for a while".

The 89-year-old Queen is a regular visitor to the annual flower show, which takes place in the grounds of the 17th-century retirement home for army veterans, the Chelsea Hospital.

She first took an interest in 1952, and since then has only missed the event on 12 occasions. It's a passion she has passed on to Harry, who first began attending in 2013.