Most Famous Funeral Receptions around the Globe

Jonah Carte
famous british funeral

When it comes to planning a funeral, celebrities, and prominent figures, without a doubt, know how to plan a beautiful farewell. These are some of the most famous funeral receptions around the globe, that caught the attention of the public, and lived up to the legacy of the deceased.

Michael Jackson

The only way to give a proper farewell to the King of Pop was with a lavish send-off. The funeral service cost $1.4 million and included a public memorial service that featured celebrities like Lionel Richie, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant. The ceremony was televised around the world and had millions of viewers. Not to mention, 17,500 tickets were available to give fans the opportunity to attend Jackson’s funeral at L.A.’s Staples Center.


Whitney Houston

Although the family decided to host a private funeral service, it was televised and included 1,500 guests. The entire funeral service lasted four hours with performances by Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, CeCe Winans, and others. Houston laid in a shining casket adorned with soft purple and white roses.

Princess Diana

Around 2,000 people were in Westminster Abbey for Princess Diana’s funeral procession, with 32 million TV viewers in the UK, and roughly two million viewers worldwide. There is no doubt that Princess Diana’s funeral was one of the most publicized funerals in history. The funeral was a worthy memorial to honor a public figure that was loved by everyone.

Judy Garland

Known for her role as Dorothy in the film, The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland’s farewell was a worldwide event. The funeral brought 20,000 attendees including A-list celebrities at the time. Almost like a fairy-tale, Garland lied in a breathtaking glass-enclosed coffin, as fans celebrated her during the funeral procession.

John McCain

Senator John McCain’s funeral was held on what would have been his 82nd birthday. Thus it was a celebration of life from every angle. First, McCain had a small private ceremony at Sky Harbor, Phoenix International Airport, with active Arizona National Guard members before departing to his next memorial. Then, his body was taken to the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. where he was celebrated by prominent public figures including Vice President Mike Pence, as well as former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush who both delivered heartfelt eulogies.


Alexander McQueen

The famous British designer was celebrated with a funeral reception worthy of the London Fashion Week runways. Over 2,500 guests attended the funeral, almost every celebrity present honored the designer and his legacy by wearing his designs. The A-list attendees included Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

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Umm Kulthum

Forever remembered as “The Nightingale of the Nile,” Umm Kulthum was an Egyptian singer with an outstanding career. Millions of mourning fans poured into the streets during her funeral, and an estimated 1 million people followed the funeral procession through Cairo.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II funeral was a massive global event watched by over 2 billion TV viewers, with millions more gathered around St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

You don’t need to be a celebrity to have a grand funeral reception. When you choose to pre-arrange your funeral plans, you get to decide how you want to be remembered, the legacy you want celebrated, and the details you’d want to have on your farewell.