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Five of the Most Famous Funerals

Jan 24, 2017 9:17:05 AM / by D. Life

D. Life


Funerals are a time of mourning. It is where family and friends can reminisce about the deceased and give them a heartfelt send-off. In most circumstances funerals are small, private affairs. However, the deaths of certain legends and historical figures have drawn the entire world into bereavement.

Here are a few of the world's most famous funerals that we are inspired by:


John F. Kennedy

Kennedy’s assassination shocked the entire nation. On November 24, 1963, two days after his death, JFK’s casket was carried by horse-drawn carriage through the streets of D.C. The LA Times reported that nearly 800,000 people stood along the funeral route. Kennedy was laid to rest on November 25th in Arlington National Cemetery.


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Two separate funerals were organized after King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. A private service was held on April 9th and attended by roughly 1,000 people, including Jackie Kennedy and U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey. For the public service, more than 100,000 mourners followed the funeral procession as King’s body and coffin were carried to Morehouse College.


Princess Diana

After her life was tragically cut short, Diana, Princess of Wales’ funeral cortege made its way from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997. More than 1,000,000 observers lined the streets of London to watch the procession. Over 2,000 guests, including a variety of celebrities and politicians, attended the service , while another 2.5 billion watched on TV.


Pope John Paul II

Nearly 300,000 people stood in St. Peter’s Square to mourn Pope John Paul II’s death on April 5, 2005. Two billion viewers from around the world watched the ceremony from home. Four kings, five queens, 70 presidents and prime ministers,  and 14 other religious leaders paied their respects at the service. Britain’s Prince Charles even postponed his wedding by a day just to attend.


Nelson Mandela

South Africa observed 10 days of mourning after the death of its first president, Nelson Mandela. The official service was held on December 10, 2013. Thousands of people battled cold and rain to be there, including almost 100 heads of state; President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Francois Hollande. A state funeral was later held in Mandela’s ancestral home of Qunu.


Give Your Loved One the Send Off They Deserve

The loss of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time and it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. At Distinctive Life Cremations & Funerals, we are committed to offering compassionate and professional service, so you can focus on what matters most-- your family.

Contact us today to visit one of our three Texas locations.


Contact a Distinctive Life funeral director here!


Topics: Blog, Five of the Most Famous Funerals

D. Life

Written by D. Life