Former England football captain David Beckham said, “It was a special few hours saying our goodbyes” after joining the huge queues in London to file past the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
“The legacy that she has left is incredible”, he added, after turning up to queue in the early hours of the morning.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star told Sky News he had joined tens of thousands of people flocking to Westminster Hall to celebrate Britain’s ‘special’ queen.
Elizabeth’s death sparked a wave of emotion across the country, with people queuing for hours, many overnight, to pay homage to the late monarch, who passed away last week.
The queue was temporarily suspended on Friday after a park at the end of the line along the Thames reached capacity.
Beckham, 47, was seen wearing a dark flat cap, suit and tie as he lined up to pay his respects.
“This day was always going to be a difficult day,” he told the media.
“Our hearts go out to the family: it’s very special to hear all the stories from the people here.
“The most special moment for me was receiving my OBE (Queen Honored Order of the British Empire, which she received in 2003).
I took with me my grandparents who were great realists.
“I was lucky to have moments like this in my life to be close to Her Majesty.
It’s a sad day, but a memorable day.
Beckham said he showed up to line up in the early morning, hoping to avoid the main rush, but was wrong .
“I thought by coming at 2:00 am it was going to be a little bit quieter — I was wrong,” he told the media.
The former footballer said every time the national anthem was played at England matches it was special.
“Every time we were there, when we were wearing those Three Lions t-shirts and I had my armband on and we sang God Save Our Queen, it was something that meant so much to us,” he told ITV.
Beckham was among dozens of sports stars from across Britain and the world who paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth after her death at the age of 96 last week.
At Westminster Abbey on Monday morning, the queen will be honoured with Britain’s first state funeral in nearly six decades, with more than 2,000 guests expected.