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.
Photos shared on social media on Friday showed members of the public queuing alongside the football star, who had been in the queue since 2am.
Dressed in a dark coat and baker boy cap, the former England captain looked emotional as he finally made it inside Westminster Hall to view the monarch’s coffin on Friday evening after queuing for 13 hours.
Live footage appeared to show the former England football captain wiping away tears as he approached the coffin.
Speaking to reporters after the viewing, the 47-year-old star said it had been an “special” but “difficult” day.
David Beckham (Photo: BBC)
The star told ITV: “Her Majesty meant so much in so many different ways.
“I can speak on my behalf of the amount of times I was able to meet her through my career.
“Every time we stood there and wore those Three Lions shirts and I had my armband and we sang God Save Our Queen - that was something that meant so much to us. Every time that we did it, it was something special.”
Emotional David Beckham bows his head to the Queen after queueing close to 12 hours to pay his respects. pic.twitter.com/lMN01BWwRq
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) September 16, 2022
He told reporters: “This day was always going to be a difficult day.
“Our thoughts are with the family, it’s very special to hear all of the stories from people here.
“The most special moment for me was to receive my OBE. I took my grandparents with me who were huge royalists.
“I was so lucky that I was able to have a few moments like that in my life to be around Her Majesty. It’s a sad day, but a day to remember.”
The former footballer 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.
Always knew David Beckham was a good guy but the respect he has shown to both the British people and the Royal Family by joining the queue and then quietly paying his respects to the Queen. What a man!! pic.twitter.com/zHkuyXshgR
— Delilah (@dthecosplayer) September 16, 2022
Following the death of the Queen last week at the age of 96, sporting and other events were postponed as a mark of respect.
When asked about matches being cancelled, the former sports star said: “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.”
Among other celebrities spotted in the queue was TV presenter Susanna Reid.
The Good Morning Britain anchor attended the historic event on Thursday with her mum, Sue, and said she had “experienced a moment in history”.
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. pic.twitter.com/f6hhdI96L6
— Susanna Reid (@susannareid100) September 15, 2022
The presenting duo, who have been hosting special tribute editions of ITV’s This Morning to the late Queen this week, were dressed in black as they queued for the historic occasion.
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 to watch mourners file solemnly past the coffin to pay their respects.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.