David Beckham queues for 12 hours to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth


Tan Min-Wei | September 17, 2022, 12:43 PM

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English footballing legend David Beckham joined the public queue to pay his respects to the late Queen Elizabeth the Second, waiting nearly 12 hours in the process.

The Queue

Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Sep. 8, and her coffin returned to London on Sep. 13.

She has been lying in state in Westminster Hall, and mourners have been allowed to pay their respects since Sep. 14.

Mourners have been queuing to view the Queen's coffin since Sep. 12.

The queue to enter Westminster Hall has only grown since then and has appeared to take on a life its own, as people attempt to view the coffin before Elizabeth's funeral on Sep. 19.

As of last night, the estimated waiting time in the queue was over a day long, and authorities were requesting that mourners not attempt to join the queue. This request appears to have been in vain as thousands still arrived, forming a secondary queue in order to join the official queue according to The Metro.

The British have a reputation for appreciating a good queue, and the long line seems to have inspired several, with the line being named "The Queue", with websites and livestreams popping up to help people find where the beginning of the queue was at any one moment.

According to the BBC, The Queue had been allocated a space over 16 km along the banks of the Thames, so finding its exact start point appears to have become a challenge.

All here together

Despite the intimidating length, footballing legend David Beckham joined the public queue to pay his respects. Joining at around 2 in the morning, Beckham waited for almost 12 hours along with other members of the public.

Journalists spotted him in the queue even though he was there with little fanfare. Dressed in a demure black suit and overcoat, with a grey peak cap and armed with an umbrella, Beckham appeared to have been in the queue on his own.

Taking advantage of a captive subject, several journalists interviewed him while he was in the queue, where Beckham gamely answered questions but was mindful of holding up the line.

Asked by the BBC how the experience of the queue had been so far, he emphasised the communitarian aspect of joining the queue, and joining with others in other to celebrate the life of the Queen, sharing stories and food as they waited together, saying:

'We all want to be here together, we all want to experience something where we celebrate the amazing life of our queen, and I think something like this today is meant to be shared together.'

'So the fact that we're here together, we're eating pringles, we're eating sherbet lemons, we're eating sandwiches, we're having coffee, doughnuts.'

Members of the public also gave him credit for joining the public queue. When one woman was asked if she expected to be in the queue with Beckham, she replied:

"No I didn't, but big respect to him he's stood with us and he's paid his respects how he wants to and I think that's amazing."

Beckham also said to ITV News that he had come in order to represent his family, noting that he had been raised in a household that respected the monarchy.

"I grew up in a household of royalists and I was brought up that way. And if my grandparents were to have been here today, I know they would have wanted to be here.'

'So I'm here on their behalf, and on behalf of my family, and obviously to celebrate with everybody else."

Sadness and tears

Beckham was later seen in Westminster Hall paying his respects. Having taken off his hat, he looked extremely sombre as he waited his turn, before finally walking past the coffin, turning to it, bowing his head slightly, and then heading out.

Beckham was compared to other celebrities and members of parliament, who were able to join a fast-tracked queue to pay their respects. Many were disdainful of those who had cut the queue, appearing to single out two morning show hosts as the target of their ire. It was clarified later, however, that they attended the state funeral in professional capacity.

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Top image via screenshot from Sky News Twitter & @nowthensunshine/Twitter