David Beckham: 'My Jewish grandfather inspired me to queue for the Queen'

The footballer said that his lifelong appreciation for the monarchy came from his mother's dad


English former football player David Beckham leaves Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, in London on September 16, 2022 after paying his respects to the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it Lies in State. - Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state in Westminster Hall inside the Palace of Westminster, until 0530 GMT on September 19, a few hours before her funeral, with huge queues expected to file past her coffin to pay their respects. (Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP) (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

For some celebrities, it appears, the idea of being deeply patriotic and a monarchist is unfashionable and even uncomfortable; unless you are David Beckham who credits his lifelong love of the royal family to his Jewish grandfather Joseph West.

Beckham 47, won plaudits and a new army of fans for eschewing the chance of a VIP place to see the Queen lying in state, instead joining the hundreds of thousands who queued for hours to see her. Dressed smartly in a suit and cap, he queued with strangers for 12 hours, finally being recognised by reporters as he got to the snaking end of the line in Westminster. He was later photographed wiping away a tear as he left her coffin.

His Instagram posts have also been touchingly emotional. “I’m truly saddened by the death of Her Majesty, the Queen,” he wrote. “What an outpouring of love and respect we saw for the Platinum Jubilee for her life of service. How devastated we all feel today shows what she has 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. Until her last days, she served her country with dignity and grace. This year she would have known how loved she was.”

It was Joseph, father of Beckham’s mother Sandra and a soldier who served with the Scots Guards in World War II, who Beckham credited not only with being his footballing mentor but also an example of how to hold himself up in the world. And when he was praised for queuing with the hoi polloi he was said to have told friends that his grandfather, a royalist, wouldn’t have jumped the queue so neither would he.

He later told reporters that he’d got through the night on a shared diet of “Pringles, sherbet lemons, sandwiches, coffee and doughnuts”, adding, “We all want to be here together. We all want to experience something where we celebrate the amazing life of our Queen.”

Joseph, who died in 2009, and his wife Margaret were regular visitors to the Beckham family home. Beckham credits his grandfather with being his “footballing inspiration”, and when he launched the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in 2020 he revealed how Joseph had taught him to be proud of his country and to always wear a poppy.

In 2003, when he was awarded the MBE by the Queen, Beckham took Joseph and Margaret because they “were the ones who brought me up to be a huge royalist and a fan of the royal family”.

Beckham’s grandfather also gave him a lifelong affinity with Judaism. “I’ve probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion,” he wrote in his autobiography My World. “I used to wear the traditional Jewish skullcaps when I was younger, and I also went along to some Jewish weddings with my grandfather.”

He was also thrilled when his son Brooklyn married Nicola Peltz in a semi-Jewish ceremony earlier this year and was photographed being lifted in the air on a chair in a traditional celebration.

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