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As crowds waited in the historic London queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, one famous face stood out. British soccer veteran David Beckham joined the queue at 2 a.m. local time, waiting for almost 14 hours with members of the public to see the late British monarch's coffin inside of Westminster Hall.
Once inside, Beckham, 47, looked visibly emotional, wiping away tears as he walked past the queen's coffin, which is currently lying-in-state for members of the public to pay their respects ahead of Monday's State Funeral.
David Beckham pays tribute to the Queen at Westminster Hall.
He appeared emotional as he wiped away tears as he approached the monarch's coffin.
Prior to seeing the coffin, Beckham spoke with ITV from the queue, while wearing a black suit, coat, hat, and carrying an umbrella.
"I thought by coming at 2 a.m. it was going to be a little bit quieter. I was wrong," Beckham told the British network at 2 p.m. local time when he was still waiting in the line. "Everybody had that in mind. But the people here, all ages... everybody wants to be here, to be part of this experience and celebrate what Her Majesty has done for us."
The father of four explained why waiting to see the coffin was so important to him and his family.
"I grew up in a household of royalists, and I was brought up that way, so if my grandparents would have been here today, I know that they would have wanted to be here," he shared. "So I'm here on their behalf and on behalf of my family and obviously just to celebrate with everybody else here."
Beckham, who met the queen several times throughout his career, acknowledged the impact of her legacy.
"This day was always going to be difficult. It's difficult for the nation. It's difficult for everyone around the world because I think everyone is feeling it," he said. "Our thoughts are with the family and with everybody here today."
An eyewitness tells ET, "David Beckham waited in line like everyone else for hours since 2 a.m. to pay his respects for the queen. People didn't notice him at first because it was dark out, but he was queued up with everyone else for a long time. He was very low key and just acting as though he was any other member of the public while waiting. He was very nice, kind and friendly to people around him. A lot of people crowded around David to take photos. He bought some people nearby donuts to keep the spirits up. He was a lovely man and a true gentleman."
One fan, named Christopher Anstee snapped a selfie with the professional athlete.
"David was an absolute gentleman. He lifted the spirits of the crowd and made a long journey a little bit more special. He turned no one away and smiled and welcomed every interaction," Anstee tells ET. "His natural charisma and down to earth approach to people was just lovely to see from such a big celebrity and sports personality. He smiled, shook hands and just created a few lovely moments in an otherwise exhausting journey to pay final respects to The Queen. Special day and more than one special moment. He waited in line since around 2 am and did the queue from the start."
The queue to view the queen's coffin grew so long on Friday morning that it was announced no more members of the public would be permitted to join it for at least six hours. The BBC reported that the wait time was around 14 hours.
Both David and his wife, Victoria Beckham, honored Queen Elizabeth on their social media pages after news of her death broke last week.
"Today is a very sad day not just for our country but for the entire world," Victoria wrote on Instagram. "I’m deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Monarch, Her Majesty The Queen. She will be remembered for her steadfast loyalty and service and my thoughts are with the royal family at this incredibly sad time."
The Beckhams have interacted with the royal family on numerous occasions, including attending the 2011 royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.