Exorbitantly wealthy people live decadent lives full of rich finery and expensive luxuries. Some people continue their extravagance after death as well. Here are five of the most expensive and lavish funerals to date.
Ronald Regan- $400 million
In 2004, Ronald Regan, a Hollywood star and the 40th president of the United States, had an amazing 7-day funeral with services in California and then Washington DC. On June 11th, President George W. Bush declared a national day of mourning in honor of Regan, and millions of people flooded to DC to pay their respects to the popular ex-president. After the DC services were over, Regan’s body was flown back to California where it was interred at the Regan Presidential Library.
Kim Jong II- $40 million
In December of 2011, the leader of the People’s Republic of North Korea, died of heart complications. His funeral committee consisted of 232 members, and was led by his son, Kim Jong-un. On December 20th, his embalmed body was placed in a glass coffin at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where it was on display for the 11-day mourning period. The actual funeral took place on December 28th, and the funeral procession headed in a large circle and returned back to Kumsusan. The dramatic reaction of the crowds included cries of “Father! Father!” while snow softly fell on the entire procession.
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother- $12.5 million
The passing of The Queen Mother in 2002 threw an entire nation into mourning. Her funeral service, held at historic Westminster Abbey, took place on April 9th. The Queen Mother was 101 when she died. The echoing chime of the abbey bell could be heard for miles as it rang 101 times, one ding for each year of Queen Elizabeth’s life. The funeral, attended by 2,100 guests, began with the choir singing anthems and reverences. Sermons were given in Queen Elizabeth’s honor, and the casket was transported to a hearse at about 12:30 pm. Thereafter, the public procession was held.
Princess Diana- $11.8 million
The tragic death of Princess Diana happened in August of 1997. Her controversial role in the royal family and her celebrity status all across the world both contributed to the enormous outreach of the public upon her death. Thousands of flowers were brought to the gates of Buckingham Palace in the wake of her passing. Though her services were not a state funeral, they included royal pageantry and liturgy.
Michael Jackson- $1 million
The public memorial service for pop king Michael Jackson was basically demanded by his droves of fans. Jackson’s body was enthroned in a solid bronze and gold-inlaid casket lined with blue velvet, and the stage where it rested for the service was surrounded by floral arrangements. The service consisted of a sermon by Pastor Lucius Smith, video and photo montages of Jackson’s life, and musical performances by top stars like Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, and Usher.
How Does This Relate to Life Insurance?
The median cost of a funeral in America is just under $8,000 (~$9,500 with a vault!), and while this number doesn’t come close to the funeral price tags above, it only further shows how incredibly important it is to prearrange your funeral. Not only does it cover a financial burden often relayed to loved ones, but it also takes away a mental burden. Instead of answering questions like casket material or music selection, your loved ones will simply be able to grieve during a difficult time knowing you have made all selections preemptively. If you are interested in learning more about preneed insurance, click the button below!