David Beckham met Queen Elizabeth numerous times, but he joined the rest of the public to queue to pay his respects one last time.
“We all want to be here together and experience and celebrate the amazing life of our Queen. I think that something like this today here together is meant to be shared,” he told reporters. Beckham joined the queue at 2 A.M., and made it inside Westminster around 3:20 P.M.—a total of over 13 hours in the queue.
He was pictured wearing a suit, newsboy cap, and a mask, and carried an umbrella with him. One person queuing tweeted, “The Queue is now full of people trying to photograph David Beckham and forgetting to actually move onwards. It’s madness!”
“This day was always going to be difficult, and it’s difficult for the nation, it’s difficult for everyone around the world, because I think everyone is feeling it, and our thoughts are with the family and obviously with everybody here today,” Beckham said. “Because it’s special to be here, to celebrate, and to hear the different stories that people have to say.”
In 2003, Queen Elizabeth appointed Beckham an OBE—Order of the British Empire—for his services to football.
“The most special moment for me was to receive my OBE. 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, and obviously I had my wife there as well,” he shared. “To step up, to get my honour, 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. Because we can all see with the love that has been shown, how special she is and how special she was and the legacy that she leaves behind.”
“It’s a sad day, but it’s a day for us to remember the incredible legacy that she’s left,” Beckham concluded.
Beckham’s walk through Westminster Hall could be viewed on the livestreams, and the British athlete looked emotional as he wiped away tears.
Emily Burack (she/her) is the news writer for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram.