Former England football captain David Beckham said it was “very emotional” to pay his respects to Queen Elizabeth II yesterday after queuing for hours all night to get past her coffin.
The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid star was among tens of thousands of people who wound their way through London towards Westminster Hall to bid Britain’s longest-serving monarch goodbye.
The death of Queen Elizabeth has sparked an outburst of emotion across the country, with people queuing for hours to pay their respects to the monarch, who died on September 8 at the age of 96 after reigning for more than 70 years close.
Her coffin lies at Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral on Monday.
The queue was temporarily halted on Friday after a park at the end of the line along the River Thames reached capacity, the Government said, with expected queues now exceeding 24 hours.
David Beckham, 47, wore a dark suit and tie as he finally walked past the late sovereign’s coffin.
He stood with his hands behind his back, bowed his head to the catafalque and then bit his lip before exiting Westminster Hall.
“It’s very emotional and the stillness and the feeling in the room is very difficult to explain,” the football icon told reporters after walking past the coffin.
“We are all here to thank Her Majesty for being kind, caring and reassuring over the years.
“She was our queen and the legacy she left is incredible.
“To have led the country the way she has led our country, for the number of years she has done it, with the respect she has gained … around the world – not just in our own country – speaks volumes .”
Beckham was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2003 and received his medal personally from Queen Elizabeth.
Mr Beckham said he queued at 2am hoping to avoid the main onslaught but was thwarted in his plan.
The former footballer also said there is something special every time the national anthem is played at England.
Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral will take place at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday, with more than 2,000 invited guests including world leaders.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)