Much has been said about how David Beckham would like to be ‘Sir David’ one day.
And when it turned out that King Charles wanted to meet him to talk about how David could use his enormous popularity to help Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Foundation, we heard more of it again.
Maybe it’s true. But the David I know is driven by genuine affection for the royal family – and he’s already friends with a surprising number of them.
His family are proud monarchists. And he is.
“I was at home when I first heard that the Queen had fallen ill,” Beckham told me recently. ‘When you listened to the news and talked to people, you felt the whole country holding its breath.
A smartly dressed David Beckham queues for thirteen hours to see Queen Elizabeth lie in state at Westminster Hall
A proud Beckham family after David was awarded an OBE. Pictured are his maternal grandparents, Joseph and Peggy West, Victoria and David
Princes William and Harry smile with Beckham at a Football Association reception in South Africa. The friendship with Harry has since cooled
“When the announcement came, we all felt like we wanted to get together with family and friends.”
Although he was deeply saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth last year, it was his late grandfather, Joe, who taught him to hold the royal family in such esteem.
(Joe, his mother’s father, is remembered in Beckham’s full name: David Robert Joseph Beckham.)
As a child, the former England captain would see his grandfather donning a suit for big royal moments, as seen on television in his east London home.
It was those moments when the football legend’s love affair with the royal family began.
As his career grew, he got to know Princes William and Harry well and today he considers the future king a close friend.
One source said: ‘David and William’s friendship has gone from strength to strength over the years and they have worked on some great projects together.’
However, Beckham and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer close. “He and Harry are no longer friends,” the source confirmed.
Beckham and Prince William at the launch of a United for Wildlife campaign
Prince William and David Beckham at the launch of the Our Planet documentary
William greets David Beckham at Wembley during Euro 2020
Harper Beckham’s sixth birthday party was held at Buckingham Palace, courtesy of Prince Eugenie
Beckham gets a seat close to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice for the Queen’s Young Leader Awards in 2016
However, there are also other royal friends, including Sarah Ferguson. The Duchess of York, ex-wife of Prince Andrew, was introduced to the footballer by David Gardner, Beckham’s best friend.
He also knows Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of Fergie and Andrew.
With those friendships in mind – and of course the memory of his grandfather – Beckham knew he had to put on a suit and line up to see the late queen as she lay in state at Westminster Hall.
That is, the full 13-hour queue, no celebrity shortcuts.
Speaking about his fondness for the Monarch, who died in September 2022, Beckham said: ‘You could feel the waves of sympathy for the Royal Family from all over the world and how loved our Queen was.
David Beckham is nearing the end of his long wait to see the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall
David takes a bow to meet Queen Elizabeth at an FA reception
David Beckham bows his head as he shakes hands with the Queen as John Major looks on
David Beckham greets King Charles with a jar of his own honey at a special British Fashion Council event in 2023
Prince Charles speaks to David Beckham ahead of the premiere of ‘Our Planet’ in April 2019
Princess Anne arrives with the Olympic flame, accompanied by David Beckham and Sebastian Coe
David with Zara at the launch of ‘Everyone’s Olympic Games’ in London 2011
David and Victoria greet Prince Michael of Kent during the F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, 2007
David with Alan Shearer and Prince Andrew at Wembley to announce the NSPCC’s ‘full stop’ campaign
‘I thought about my father and mother and my late grandparents and how they raised us with respect for the royal family. That was the reason I lined up for those who lay in state.
‘I stood in that line for a few hours longer than I expected, but it was an experience I will never forget. I met some great people and we all kept each other going.
“People from all walks of life are just there to show their respect and be part of a moment in history. A long night, but I was lucky to be there.’