David Beckham joined the miles-long queue to pay his respects to Queen Elizabeth II. The English athlete jumped in line in the middle of the night in order to view the queen’s coffin at London’s Westminster Hall.
“I thought by coming at 2 am it was going to be a little bit quieter — I was wrong,” he quipped to Sky News, later adding: “It’s special to be here.”
Queen Elizabeth II died in Scotland on Sept. 8. She was 96.
“I grew up in a household of royalists and I was brought up that way. If my grandparents would have been here today, I know that they would have wanted to be here,” Beckham explained. “So I’m here on their behalf and on behalf of my family and obviously to celebrate with everybody else here.”
The soccer star knew the day the queen passed “was always going to be difficult.”
“It’s difficult for the nation, it’s difficult for everyone around the world because I think everyone is feeling it. Our thoughts are with the family and obviously with everybody here today,” he shared.
One thing Beckham enjoyed while waiting in line was hearing “the different stories” that people had to say about Britain’s monarch. The former England captain said he “was very lucky” to meet the queen “many times” throughout his career. In 2003, he received an OBE for Services to Football. OBE stands for Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Beckham said it was his “most special” moment with the queen.
“I took my grandparents with me, who were the ones that really brought me up to be a huge royalist and a fan of the royal family, so to have them there… and obviously I had my wife there as well. To step up, to get my honor, but then also Her Majesty, to ask questions, to talk, I was so lucky that I was able to have a few moments like that in my life, to be around Her Majesty,” Beckham shared.
“It’s a sad day, but it’s a day for us to remember the incredible legacy that she’s left,” he added. “Everybody wants to be here to be part of this experience and celebrate what Her Majesty has done for us.”
After 13 hours, Beckham finally viewed Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin. Sky News reported he was in tears after the special moment. It seems he got in just in time. On Friday, the British government urged people not to join the queue as the five-mile line is at capacity. The coffin will be moved on Monday morning, the day of the state’s funeral.
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