Though it’s now been two weeks since “Queen Elizabeth died of being old,” according to Trevor Noah, the fervor that has ensued in that time has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride — even for the millions of people around the world just watching the events unfold. While the Queen was officially laid to rest on Monday, Noah was still having trouble believing not just how many people came to pay personal tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and see her casket lying in state — but how long they waited in line to stare at the coffin of a person they had likely never met.
At one point, the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport was practically begging people to please not travel to queue up with the tens of thousands of other mourners, as the line was more than 5 miles long and some truly undeterred royalists waited for up to 25 hours to stand mere inches from the Queen’s corpse.
Noah shared several news clips reporting on the immense crowds, and how David Beckham refused an offer to trade in on his celebrity to cut the line and waited 13 hours overnight. Which prompted a CBS News report to note how it was really “a reminder of how much people in this country really like to line up.” Which Noah found to be an “interesting takeaway” — as if thousands of people had gathered for no other reason than to stand in line. Though Noah continued:
But this is true: Apparently, standing in line is really popular in Britain. It’s like their national pastime. And before you make fun of them for doing something so boring, don’t forget America’s national pastime is baseball. Which is when people act as if someone died but they didn’t.
But 22 hours in line — that’s no joke. Twenty-two hours! ‘Cause remember: there’s no iPhone at the end of that line. It’s just a box, and you don’t even get to open the box.
While lots of people chose to pay their respects by re-watching The Crown, Noah was particularly impressed by Beckham waiting in line. “Because apparently he was offered a chance to skip the queue and he refused,” Noah said. “Which is really admirable. Especially when you consider you don’t know who you’re going to be stuck in that line with.” Noah’s biggest concern: An Arsenal fan.
You can watch the full clip above, beginning around the 1:45 mark. But just remember, there are always consequences for standing in line too long.