King Charles held a secret awards ceremony for spymasters at MI5, it has been confirmed.
Members of the intelligence community, who are responsible for stopping dozens of terrorist attacks, received their honours in private.
The King, 75, has held secret annual award ceremonies for spies for many years, according to MI5.
“The spy Oscars”, as they have become known, were first held in 2012.
King Charles has held secret awards ceremony for spymasters at MI5
Instagram / MI5
MI5’s social media team shared details about the ceremony on its Instagram account.
While he was Prince of Wales, Charles, who is patron of the Intelligence Services, presented hundreds of spies with honours and awards.
Awards ceremonies have frequently taken place at Thames House, the HQ of MI5 in London, but there are no fixed dates for the events, according to security sources.
Now the King has succeeded to the throne, Prince William could potentially take over in the future, but nothing has been announced yet.
King Charles is patron of the Intelligence Services
An intelligence source told The Daily Telegraph that the awards were presented personally by the King to spies responsible for preventing dozens of terrorist attacks.
Spies are never allowed to receive any form of public recognition, hence why the awards ceremony is kept private.
Colonel Philip Ingram, a former Army intelligence officer, said the achievements of the intelligence and security services were often overlooked because they took place in the shadows.
He said: “We forget the contribution the intelligence services give to ensuring our safety and security and the contribution they make to Britain’s standing in the world.
Queen Elizabeth II visiting MI5 headquarters in 2020
Spies are never allowed to receive any form of public recognition
“Very often the measurement of their success is nothing happens, and when something does, again, we rarely hear about it.”
The colonel also told The Telegraph: “It is fantastic that His Majesty takes a personal interest and plays his role in saying thank you to some of these exceptional men and women who have to permanently live and work in the shadows.”
In 2019, it emerged that Prince William had spent three weeks performing work experience at the headquarters of MI5, MI6, and GCHQ.
At the time, he said: “Spending time inside our security and intelligence agencies, understanding more about the vital contribution they make to our national security, was a truly humbling experience.”