10/09/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT
The newly minted Sir Roger Moore was more shaken than stirred when he received his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
"It was nerve-racking," the seven-time 007 told PEOPLE. "I was worrying about whether I'd be able to get up again."
Moore was joined at the palace by rocker Sting -- who was announced as "Gordon Sumner, known as Sting," and who was honored with a Commander of the British Empire title by the British monarch.
In Moore's honor, the Buckingham Palace band struck up the familiar chords of the Bond theme for the crowds waiting outside the gates.
Moore is the second former Bond-man to be knighted, following Sean Connery by three years. But Buckingham Palace honored Moore (who turns 76 next week) not so much for his acting career but for his 12 years of work as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador -- a project he undertook at the suggestion of the late Audrey Hepburn.
Sting, 52, who dressed up in a morning coat to take his bow before the queen, told reporters that he, too, was nervous about the appearance.
"I've never met the queen before. It's a little bit like a dream," he said. "I didn't ever imagine that when I set off from Newcastle with a guitar and a bag of songs that I would end up here at Buckingham Palace."
Later, as he posed for pictures with wife Trudie Styler, 49, and daughters Kate, 21, and Coco, 13, he looked at his medal hanging around his neck and shook his head in disbelief. "How did I end up getting this old?" he queried.