England football legend David Beckham paid his respects to Queen Elizabeth II on Friday afternoon after queuing for hours alongside other members of public.
The football star was seen inside Westminster Hall, where the late monarch’s body is lying in state, at around 3:25 p.m. Friday afternoon, more than 13 hours after he was first spotted in the queue.
Speaking to reporters while still queuing earlier on Friday, Beckham said he had been waiting for more than 12 hours.
“We all want to be here together, we all want to experience something where we celebrate the amazing life of our Queen,” Beckham said.
“You know something like this today is meant to be shared together. So, you know the fact that we’ve been here. We’re eating Pringles. We’re eating Sherbet Lemons, sandwiches and coffee,” the football player continued.
Speaking to a reporter from ITV News, Beckham said he “grew up in a household of royalists” and had come on behalf of his grandparents who he said would have queued if they were still alive.
Beckham recounted how lucky he was to have met the Queen on a number of occasions, highlighting the honor he felt to play for the national English football team.
“You know I always wanted to represent my country, to be captain in my country, and every time that we stood there when we wore those Three Lion shirts, and I had my armband and we sang, you know, ‘God save our Queen.’ That was something that meant so much to us,” he said.
Dressed in a black suit, navy coat, and flat cap, Beckham said that despite being in the queue for more than 12 hours, his “knees were OK,” though the same couldn’t be said for his back.
Beckham has appeared in selfies with fans on social media, and one woman who had queued alongside Beckham for hours told reporters that she had “big respect” for the sportsman who she said, “had paid his respects however he wanted.”
The queue snakes from Westminster Hall for miles along the south bank of the River Thames. It passes landmarks such as the London Eye, the Royal Festival Hall and the Globe theater.
Plans are in place for it to stretch as long as nine miles, or 14.5 kilometers. The line had to be closed several times on Friday after reaching its capacity. As of Friday afternoon, the government’s official tracker was advising waiting time of 24 hours.
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