The rich and famous are responsible for some of history's most extravagant funerals. We've handpicked a few of our favourites, notably for the cost, often to taxpayers, and the flashy ways they were celebrated in death:
• Ronald Reagan – His 2004 7-day funeral was the most expensive of any US president in history, thanks to a day of mourning and paid day off for all federal employees, costing US taxpayers over $400 million alone. Over 100,000 people viewed his coffin in 34 hours.
• Alexander The Great – The original big spender, the 4th century BC Greek ruler was placed inside two golden sarcophaguses and transported throughout Egypt in a process reported to take two years and a cost of around USD $600 million in today's money.
• Princess Diana – The Princess of Wales' tragic passing in 1997 led to funeral costs that blew out to USD $8 million. The event was televised worldwide to an audience of over 2.5 billion and resulted in a #1 hit single, 'Candle In The Wind', rewritten and performed by friend and pop star Elton John.
• Michael Jackson - A big spender both in life and death, Michael's burial outfit alone cost USD $35,000, his golden casket USD $425,000, over USD $11,000 for invitations and a whopping USD $590,000 for internment at his mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery, where stars from Hollywood's golden age, including Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and Jean Harlow also rest. His 2009 funeral in LA cost USD $1.4 million for the police entourage alone, of which there were 3,000 officers deployed to keep adoring crowds in check.
• John Paul II - His lavish 2005 farewell took place over several days at the heart of the Catholic Church, St Peters Basilica in Rome and multiple sacred Vatican sites, attended by over 200 global dignitaries.
• Elizabeth Taylor - One of Hollywood's most glamourous and oft-married stars, was laid to rest in a mahogany, velvet-lined coffin worth USD $11,000 in 2011. Elizabeth also left specific instructions, including she arrive 15 minutes 'fashionably late' to her own service.
• Elvis Presley - When the 'King' died in 1977, a 900-pound coffin was constructed to carry his hefty frame. His funeral procession consisted of 17 white limousines with 300 national guard troops guarding proceedings, with over 80,000 fans lined the streets of Memphis to watch the procession go by.
You may not have the big bucks or the fame like these former greats, but when it comes to planning your funeral and making your wishes known, AddendoVault has you covered.
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