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David Beckham used to stand for the Queen’s Speech as a boy in the tiny living room of his childhood home in East London. Now he stands and chuckles with her son King Charles…

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Sitting in the tiny living room of his childhood home in Leytonstone, East London, few occasions would bring a young David Beckham to his feet beyond a goal being scored on TV.

But such was his love of the Royal Family that every Christmas, dressed in his Sunday best, he would stand up for the Queen’s Speech.

It was as much a fixture of his Royal calendar as Trooping the Colour. Every June, David’s grandparents Peggy and Joseph took him and his two sisters 13 miles across London to Horse Guards Parade, hoping to glimpse the Queen.

So how thrilled David is now, some 40 years later, to be allowed behind the velvet rope and into the royal fold as the first ambassador for the renamed King’s Foundation.

And what sweetened David’s aristocratic rise was, it can be revealed, a jar of honey.

And what sweetened David’s aristocratic rise was, it can be revealed, a jar of honey

And what sweetened David’s aristocratic rise was, it can be revealed, a jar of honey

David has kept bees on his country estate in Oxfordshire since lockdown, and handed a pot of his homemade honey – inimitably named DBee’z Sticky Stuff – to the King at the British Fashion Council awards in London last May.

The monarch was apparently ‘stunned’ at the gift, not least because he realised that the football icon – who hails from a very different world and is known better for free-kicks, high fashion and changing haircuts – was a fellow apiarist.

A friend of the star tells me: ‘A strong bond has forged between them. When David handed over the honey, the King looked surprised – perhaps he didn’t expect that the footballer from East London would be into beekeeping, and he was intrigued by David’s love for the countryside.’

And it was that curiosity that prompted the King to invite David to his Highgrove residence in Gloucestershire.

But what does one wear to meet the King? For David, it was head-to-toe Purdey, a label favoured for the country gent look. He wore a £2,995 estate evening duke jacket, merino wool flannel trousers costing £560 and the Purdey grain leather shoes, available for £595.

Green-fingered Charles proudly gave him a tour of his beloved gardens and introduced him to stone carvers on the estate and craftspeople making furniture and textiles.

Green-fingered Charles proudly gave him a tour of his beloved gardens and introduced him to stone carvers on the estate and craftspeople making furniture and textiles

Green-fingered Charles proudly gave him a tour of his beloved gardens and introduced him to stone carvers on the estate and craftspeople making furniture and textiles

The ex-England captain is no stranger to the countryside since buying his Grade II-listed Cotswolds home an hour’s drive away near Chipping Norton in 2016.

In his recent eponymous documentary on Netflix, David explained how lucky he felt to be able to escape there, tending to his bees and chickens, taking strolls around his lake and planting trees – as he did with his daughter Harper during lockdown.

Now, having a role at a royal foundation that promotes the natural world and a sustainable future, particularly to the young, has left David ‘honoured and delighted’.

A friend of his explains: ‘David comes from a working class family, and like many with that background, he holds the monarchy in high esteem.

‘He absolutely adored Queen Elizabeth, which surely won’t be lost on King Charles.’

His courtship of the royals has been decades in the making.

In 2003, it was the Queen who presented an ‘overjoyed’ Beckham with an OBE for his services to football at Buckingham Palace.

In 2010, David worked with Prince William, then-president of the FA, to bring stardust to prime minister David Cameron’s ultimately unsuccessful bid for England to host the 2018 World Cup.

The pair have engaged on several projects together since, including a mental health campaign in 2020.

A friend of his explains: 'He absolutely adored Queen Elizabeth, which surely won't be lost on King Charles'

A friend of his explains: ‘He absolutely adored Queen Elizabeth, which surely won’t be lost on King Charles’

In 2003, it was the Queen who presented an 'overjoyed' Beckham with an OBE for his services to football at Buckingham Palace

In 2003, it was the Queen who presented an ‘overjoyed’ Beckham with an OBE for his services to football at Buckingham Palace

Prince William and David Beckham have engaged on several projects together since, including a mental health campaign in 2020

Prince William and David Beckham have engaged on several projects together since, including a mental health campaign in 2020

Pictured in 2022, his courtship of the royals has been decades in the making

Pictured in 2022, his courtship of the royals has been decades in the making

But it was when the Queen died in September 2022 that David wore his affection for the monarchy so publicly.

Together with some 250,000 mourners who saw her lying in state at Westminster Hall, David queued for 12 hours through the night, wearing his Sunday best as if he were back in his Leytonstone living room on Christmas Day. Speaking to the Mail a year later, he said: ‘I was at home when I heard that the Queen had been taken ill. You could feel the whole country was holding its breath. When the announcement came, we all felt like we wanted to get together with family and friends.

‘You could sense the waves of sympathy for the Royal Family coming from around the world. They showed how loved she was. I thought of my mum and dad and my late grandparents, and how they brought us up to respect the Royal Family.

‘That was what made me join the queue for the Lying in State.’

David’s new bond with the King will, of course, prompt questions over whether his next honour will be a knighthood. He was previously turned down for one over a past association with a tax avoidance scheme, and emails leaked in 2017 revealed he was furious.

But time is a remarkable healer. He has long since settled his tax issues with HM Revenue and Customs, and his dream of becoming Sir David could yet come true.

But his supporters will argue that the trust Charles has shown in David as ambassador to the Kings Foundation, and the personal bond the pair have created, is rehabilitation enough.

Together with some 250,000 mourners who saw her lying in state at Westminster Hall, David Beckham queued for 12 hours through the night

Together with some 250,000 mourners who saw her lying in state at Westminster Hall, David Beckham queued for 12 hours through the night

He wore his Sunday best as if he were back in his Leytonstone living room on Christmas Day

He wore his Sunday best as if he were back in his Leytonstone living room on Christmas Day

The star has been, of course, no stranger to public scrutiny. Who can forget the death threats after his red card against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup?

Or the accusations made by Rebecca Loos that he cheated on wife Victoria while he was living in Madrid? And only two years ago, he was paid millions to be the face of the controversial Qatar World Cup.

Undoubtedly he has come a long way, not least as the child who stood to attention during the Queen’s Speech to now standing shoulder to shoulder with her son.



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