‘She was very important in my life’: Dame Kelly Holmes admits she felt ‘compelled’ to pay her tributes to The Queen – waiting 11 hours at Westminster Hall to visit her coffin

Dame Kelly Holmes has shared that she felt ‘compelled’ to pay her respects to Queen Elizabeth II, following her death at age 96 on September 8.

The Olympic legend, 52, waited in line at Westminster Hall for 11 hours to visit Her Majesty lying in state.

Sharing that the monarch was ‘very important in my life’, the runner explained that she reshuffled her whole weekend to join the sprawling queue – nothing that she would’ve waited for 24 hours if she had to.

‘She was very important in my life’: Dame Kelly Holmes, 52, has admitted that she felt ‘compelled’ to pay her tributes to The Queen – waiting 11 hours at Westminster Hall to visit her coffin

Kelly served in the Womens Royal Armoured Corp at just 17 years old – citing her military background as one of the reasons for connection to the Queen, who was Commander -in-Chief of the British Army and Head of the Armed Forces. 

Appearing on BBC news to discuss the decision to wait at Westminister Hall, Kelly explained: ‘It was a remarkable day. I met so many people; people of all ages. I felt compelled to be in that queue. I had to do it. I changed all my plans for the weekend.

‘I didn’t mind if I had to stay there for 24 hours. I felt it was my goodbye to her as she was very important in my life.’

Kelly has spent the last week paying tribute to the long-serving monarch – opening up about her experience meeting the Queen while on Loose Women last week.

Honour: Kelly pictured with the Queen during a 2004 reception for Olympic and Paralympic athletes at Buckingham Palace

Panellist: Kelly has spent the last week paying tribute to the long-serving monarch – opening up about her experience meeting the Queen while on Loose Women last week

She joined Ruth Langsford, Linda Robson, Brenda Edwards and Jane Moore on the talk show last week, as she is now set to be a full time panellist.

Explaining that Kelly was ‘already in tears’, Ruth opened the show: ‘We will be sharing some very special stories about meeting her and honouring her legacy, starting with playing that, one of her favourite songs, which has already got Kelly in tears.’

While the athlete also spent time urging Brits to take part in the minute of silence on Sunday via social media – pleading ‘please do not forget’.

The Palace announced on September 8 that the queen was ill, before later sharing the tragic news of her death in Balmoral, Scotland.

Devastated: Kelly, who was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) back in 2005, also took to Instagram on the day to share her upset

Kelly, who was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) back in 2005, took to Instagram on the day to share her upset, writing: ‘As you know my ❤️ has ALWAYS been so invested in everything our Queen stands for!

‘I am proud to have served under Our Majesty the Queen for my Country and in Sport. I have been one of the lucky ones to have met the Queen on numerous occasions at horse racing and Buckingham Palace and to receive my Dame Commander of the British Empire from Her Majesty will be something I will hold special in my heart for ever…

‘I am crying right now as sad she is not well! Crying with/for everyone. Whatever the news….I am just for everyone who cares about her being Ill. Sad for, Our royal family, the military, charities and everyone who has met or loves her because I know you will feel the same as I do.’

Editing the caption following the announcement, Kelly then wrote: ‘UPDATED 18:45 / DEVASTATED / A VERY SAD DAY / RIP YOUR MAJESTY.’

Army: Kelly served in the Womens Royal Armoured Corp at just 17 years old – citing her military background as one of the reasons for connection to the Queen, who was Commander -in-Chief of the British Army and Head of the Armed Forces

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