History: David Beckham Queues for Hours to See Queen Elizabeth II Lying in State

David Beckham Queues for Hours to See Queen Elizabeth II Lying in State

Well-wishers stand in the queue in
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David Beckham, Sharon Osbourne and “Good Morning Britain” anchor Susanna Reid are among the hundreds of thousands of mourners who have spent hours queuing for a chance to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II while she lies in state ahead of her funeral on Sept. 19.

Beckham told Sky News — who caught up with him while he was still waiting in line — that he had joined the queue at 2 a.m. on Friday morning. “Well, we all want to celebrate our Queen, Her Majesty,” he told the camera crew as the line inched forward.

Later that day, at around 3 p.m., the BBC showed Beckham, dressed in a black suit and tie, finally entering Westminster Hall. As the soccer star approached the Queen’s coffin, which is sat on a catafalque draped in the Royal Standard flag and the Imperial State Crown, he stopped and bent his head, pausing for a moment before following the others mourners out.

Osbourne was spotted in the queue on Wednesday evening by ITV News. “I love the Queen and I came over for this because I’m a royalist and I love the royal family,” she told the interviewer.

Beckham and Osbourne were widely praised for choosing to join the public queue rather than using the VIP line, which “This Morning” anchors Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were caught doing on the BBC’s live feed.

The first people to join the queue arrived almost 48 hours before the lying in state started. At the time, the Queen’s body wasn’t even in London but still in Scotland, where she died last week.

On Tuesday, she was flown from Edinburgh to London, spending one final night in Buckingham Palace before her coffin was transported to Westminster Hall (part of the U.K.’s Houses of Parliament) in an elaborate ceremonial procession on Wednesday afternoon, in which her family, including King Charles III and Princes William and Harry, all took part.

The Queen’s body will now lie in state, surrounded by soldiers in traditional uniforms, until Monday morning, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey for her funeral. On Friday evening, the Queen’s family appeared in Westminster Hall to pay their respects with her children King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward standing vigil around her coffin. Her grandchildren, including Princes William and Harry, are set to do the same on Saturday.

Visitors file past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster.

Hundreds of thousands of mourners have now joined the queue in a bid to pay their final respects to the Queen. Such is the volume of people that the queue has become a tourist attraction in its own right as it snakes along the banks of the River Thames, nicknames (“QEII,” a play on the name of a now-retired transatlantic cruise ship) and even a livetracker on YouTube set up by the U.K.’s Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), which warns those who are considering joining how long it is and how long they may be waiting.