Former England soccer captain Beckham queues to see Queen Elizabeth’s coffin

REUTERS/Tom Nicholson
Former football player David Beckham speaks to the media after paying his respects to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth lying in state, following her death, in London on Friday. 

LONDON (Reuters) – Former England soccer captain David Beckham queued for more than 13 hours alongside thousands of other mourners to see Queen Elizabeth lying in state in London on Friday.

The 47-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder and current co-owner of American Major League Soccer team Inter Miami, said he had joined the queue at 2.15 a.m.

“We all want to be here together, we all want to experience something where we celebrate the amazing life of our queen. Something like this today is meant to be shared together, Beckham, who was wearing a dark flat cap and a dark suit with a black tie and appeared to be alone, told reporters in the queue.”

He talked of snacking on crisps, sweets and donuts with his fellow queuers to keep their energy up.

Television footage of Westminster Hall showed Beckham, who met the queen several times during her 70-year reign, looked tearful as he waited to file past her coffin.

Stopping to pay his respects by the coffin at around 3.25 p.m, Beckham bowed his head and closed his eyes momentarily.

The government paused entry to the queue for a few hours earlier on Friday after warning of waiting times of at least 14 hours.

It snakes its way for miles through central London to parliament’s Westminster Hall. Some 750,000 people in total are expected to file past the coffin before Monday morning.

Last week Beckham posted on Instagram that he was “truly saddened” by the queen’s death.

How devastated we all feel today shows what she meant to people in this country and around the world. How much she inspired us with her leadership. How she comforted us when times were tough, he wrote.