LATEST: Queen Elizabeth II thrilled David Beckham when she told the soccer ace it was "an honour" for her to hand him his ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (OBE).

The ENGLAND captain received the OBE today (27NOV03) at London's Buckingham Palace, and was touched when the British monarch expressed concern for his well-being.

Beckham and his pop star wife VICTORIA have become the target of frenzied speculation about the state of their marriage since he moved to play for REAL MADRID - and even the Queen was concerned over the strain of splitting his life between England and Spain.

Beckham says, "She said it's a great honour for her to be giving me the award.

"She asked me about traveling back and forward playing football and I said it's not a problem. I said it's a great honour to be here with Her Majesty."

27/11/2003 17:20