David Beckham’s tribute to the Queen after queuing to see her lying in state

·5-min read

Former England captain David Beckham has said he attended the Queen’s lying in state to celebrate her life and legacy, and remembered his late grandparents saying if they had been alive they would have been there.

The football star began queueing at 2am on Friday and looked emotional as he finally made it inside Westminster Hall to view the monarch’s coffin, with footage appearing to show him wiping away tears.

Speaking after the viewing, Beckham, 47, a keen royalist, told press: “It is emotional for everybody involved.”

David Beckham was among those in the queue to see the Queen lying in stage (Elena Giuliano/PA)
David Beckham was among those in the queue to see the Queen lying in stage (Elena Giuliano/PA)

He added: “Her Majesty was someone special and will be missed just by everyone.”

Beckham was made an OBE in 2003 and received the honour for his services to football, and over the years has been involved in the Queen’s Young Leader Award, which was established in 2014.

He said it had been an honour to be involved, adding: “Anytime throughout my career I’ve been asked to do anything regarding the royal family, her majesty, the princes, our King now, I have always been very willing to do that.

“I grew up in a family that were royalists.

“Today I think back to my grandparents because if my grandparents were alive they would have been here, so it’s nice to be here to celebrate with everybody the life of her majesty and her legacy that she leaves.”

David Beckham paid a tribute to the Queen after visiting her coffin lying in state (Elena Giuliano/PA)
David Beckham paid a tribute to the Queen after visiting her coffin lying in state (Elena Giuliano/PA)

Following the death of the Queen last week aged 96, sporting and other events were postponed as a mark of respect.

Former midfielder Beckham said when asked about matches being cancelled: “There should always be respect paid to our Queen in the country in this time of mourning but speaking as an ex-football player and an ex-England captain I know what it meant for us to step out on that field to represent our Queen and our country and the three lions.

“And when we are out there it gives us the opportunity to celebrate in a way that only football can and only football fans can.”

TV presenter Susanna Reid is also among the famous faces who waited several hours in the queue to pay their respects to the Queen.

Reid, 51, joined the queue on Thursday with her mother, Sue, and said she had “experienced a moment in history”.

Detailing her experience on Twitter, she said: “Evening – along with my lovely mum and her very good friend, I have just experienced a moment in history – witnessing the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall. At once majestic and peaceful.”

Her posts on Thursday also shared tips for others in the queue, saying: “If you are planning to queue here are our tips. We joined at 1.23pm near Butlers Wharf and entered Westminster Hall at 8.43pm – 7 hours 20 mins. Wear the comfiest shoes you own. Go with someone if you can, although everyone in the queue was friendly.

“Don’t carry too much in a bag – water is freely available and there are lots of cafes along the route. Also plenty of toilets. I put my phone on low battery mode and it lasted the entire time.”

She added: “The first part of the queue is for wristbands. Ours were given out at Tower Bridge about an hour after we began queuing. There is no queue jumping – people waited patiently for wristbands and once you have one you can leave the queue for snacks/loo stops & slip back in.”

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were also spotted at Westminster Hall as they paid their respects.

The presenting duo, who have been hosting special tribute editions of ITV’s This Morning to the late Queen this week, were dressed in all-black outfits as they queued for the historic occasion.

Reality TV star Sharon Osbourne was also seen among the thousands of mourners this week.

Queen Elizabeth II death
Members of the public file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall (Danny Lawson/PA)

Earlier on Friday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) paused the queue to Westminster Hall for “at least six hours” after Southwark Park reached capacity, with the estimated queueing time for mourners having risen to at least 14 hours.

Some of those in the queue will witness the King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex hold a 15-minute vigil around their mother’s coffin at about 7.30pm this evening.

For those who are not able to attend in person, a continuous livestream of the Queen lying in state has been set up by a number of broadcasters including the BBC and ITV.

Thousands have tuned in over the past couple of days to watch mourners file solemnly past the coffin to pay their respects.