A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honour people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition. Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning after the family of the deceased gives consent. A state funeral will often generate mass publicity from both national and global media outlets.
In 1952 Eva Perón died at age 33. She held the title of Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina, granted by the Congress of Argentina. Nearly three million people covered the funeral of Evita in the streets of Buenos Aires. A radio broadcast interrupted the broadcasting schedule, with the announcer reading, "The Press Secretary's Office of the Presidency of the Nation fulfills its very sad duty to inform the people of the Republic that at 20:25 hours Mrs. Eva Perón, Spiritual Leader of the Nation, died." Eva Perón was granted a state funeral and a full Roman Catholic requiem mass. On Saturday 9 August, the body was then transferred to the Congress Building for an additional day to be publicly viewed. The next day, after a final Sunday mass, the coffin was laid atop on a gun carriage pulled by CGT officials. Following next was Juan Perón, his cabinet, Eva's family and friends, the delegates and representatives of the Partido Peronista Femenino, then workers, nurses and students of the Eva Perón Foundation. Her coffin was showered with carnations, orchids, chrysanthemums, wallflowers and roses thrown from the nearby balconies as the procession passed through the streets.
Juan Perón died at age 78 on 1 July 1974, after his health progressively deteriorated. His wife and vicepresident, Isabel Martínez de Perón, gave the announcement: "with great sorrow I must convey to the people of Argentina the death of this true apostle of peace and nonviolence." After several days of national mourning, in which the body laid in state at the Argentine National Congress for hundreds of thousands of people, the remains were moved to a crypt in the Quinta de Olivos Presidential. On 17 November 1974 the remains of Evita. While the body was in Congress, over 135,000 people filed past the coffin, while a million Argentines had to bid their farewell to their leader from the outside. Two thousand foreign journalists reported the details of the funeral.
Raul Alfonsín died at age 82 on 31 March 2009 after a long battle against lung cancer and. in his last days, broncoaspirativa pneumonia. Argentina's government declared three days of national mourning for the death and his remains were veiled from the early hours of April 1, 2009 in the Blue Room of the National Congress, which was attended also by authorities and politicians of different parties an estimated 80,000 people had to wait in line for five to six hours. Among the political authorities who attended the event were former presidents Carlos Menem, Eduardo Duhalde, Fernando De la Rua and Nestor Kirchner, President Cristina Fernandez was unable to attend because they were in the G-20 London but sent its condolences. The next day they were taken to a military gun carriage escorted by the Mounted Grenadiers Regiment at Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. The remains of former President rested temporarily in the vault of the fallen in the Revolution of the Park until 16 May were transferred to a single monument in the cemetery in a place built of gray and beige marble, where there is a cross on top and a bright stained glass by entering a glimmer.
Argentina's former President and Secretary General of UNASUR, Néstor Kirchner, died of heart failure on the morning of 27 October 2010 at the Jose Formenti hospital in El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province at the age of 60. Although there was some effort made to revive him, it did not do so His wife, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was present with him when he died. He was also expected to run for president in 2011.
State funerals were held for the President-elect of Brazil, Tancredo Neves, who died before taking office. The former Vice President of Brazil, José Alencar, was also buried with a head of state's honor, after his passing due to cancer. Other than heads of state, personalities such as the Formula 1 racing champion Ayrton Senna, dead in 1994 after a crash during a race, and the architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died in 2012 at the age of 104, among others.
In Canada, state funerals are public events held to commemorate the memory of present and former governors general, present and former prime ministers, sitting members of the Ministry (the Privy Council) and other prominent Canadians at the discretion of the Prime Minister. With ceremonial, military, and religious elements incorporated, state funerals are offered and executed by the Government of Canada which provides a dignified manner for the Canadian people to mourn a national public figure.
In 2006, the House of Commons voted unanimously, on a motion introduced by the NDP, to hold a state funeral when the last Canadian veteran of the First World War died. However, John Babcock, after becoming the last surviving veteran, stated that he did not feel the need to be honoured in such a way.
In August 2011, in a rare circumstance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a state funeral for his political adversary and Leader of the Opposition, Jack Layton. Layton died of cancer three months after his New Democratic Party became the official opposition, for the first time in his party's history.
In 2014, former finance minister Jim Flaherty received a state funeral after his death.
Novelist Carlos Fuentes received a state funeral on May 16, 2012, with his funeral cortege briefly stopping traffic in Mexico City. The ceremony was held in the Palacio de Bellas Artes and was attended by President Felipe Calderón.
State funerals have also been held for former Mexican presidents. Traditionally, the final funeral services for a former Mexican president is held at either the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral or Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The services are attended by the former president's family, the current President of Mexico, the Head of Government of the Federal District and their families, foreign heads of state or their representatives (usually a foreign ambassador, vice president, prime minister or premier), military officials, Senators and Deputies, and other dignitaries. The principal celebrant of the service is usually the Archbishop of Mexico City, and traditionally the President and the Head of Government of the Federal District deliver the final eulogies and remarks.
On the days leading to a Presidential state funeral, the Mexican flags are at half-mast, and the Olympic cauldron at Estadio Olimpico Universitario is lit until the funeral services have ended. The day of the Presidential funeral, if held in Mexico City, is usually the national day of mourning; there is no mail to be delivered on that day, all schools and colleges in Mexico City are closed, and all television and motion picture studios in Mexico City, and with them the studios of Televisa and TV Azteca affiliates across Mexico, are closed to audiences and tours. All business, including shopping centers and entertainment facilities, in Mexico City are closed; stores and theaters that are part of regional and national chains headquartered in Mexico City are closed.
The most recent Presidential funeral was that of Miguel de la Madrid, which was attended by thousands of dignitaries including President Calderon and Head of Government of the Federal District Marcelo Ebrard.
Sir William George Mallet GCSL GCMG CBE (July 24, 1923 – October 20, 2010) received a State Funeral on October 28, 2010 in the capital Castries. Mallet was a politician who held a number of high offices in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean. On June 1, 1996, "Sir George" was appointed to the office of Governor General of St Lucia.
On September 4, 2000, a state funeral was held in Nassau for former Bahamian Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling. On January 5, 2012, a state funeral was held in Nassau for former Bahamian Governor-General Sir Clifford Darling.
In the United States, state funerals are held in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and involve military spectacle, ceremonial pomp, and religious observance. As the highest possible honor bestowed upon a person posthumously, state funerals are an entitlement offered to a sitting or former President of the United States, a President-elect, as well as other people designated by the President. Administered by the Military District of Washington (MDW), state funerals are greatly influenced by protocol, steeped in tradition, and rich in history. However, the overall planning as well as the decision to hold a state funeral, is largely determined by the President before his death and the First Family.
State funerals have been held in Washington D.C. for William Henry Harrison (1841), Zachary Taylor (1850), Abraham Lincoln (1865), Thaddeus Stevens (1868), James A. Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1901), Warren G. Harding (1923), the Unknown Soldier of World War I (1921), William Howard Taft (1930), John J. Pershing (1948), the Unknown Soldiers of World War II and the Korean War (1958), John F. Kennedy (1963), Douglas MacArthur (1964), Herbert Hoover (1964), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1969), Lyndon B. Johnson (1973), Ronald Reagan (2004), Gerald Ford (2006-2007) and George H. W. Bush (2018).
In Australia, Commonwealth (federal) state funerals are generally offered to former or current governors-general, prime ministers and long-serving members of the Parliament of Australia. In rare occasions a Commonwealth state funeral is offered to people outside politics but who made a significant contribution to the nation, for example Sir Douglas Mawson was granted a Commonwealth state funeral in 1958. A Commonwealth state funeral was offered for Margaret Whitlam but the Whitlam family declined.
Military state funerals are offered to former senior officers of the Australian Defence Force, for example Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey, and sometimes given to governors-general, prime ministers, state governors and state premiers who had previous military service. The Unknown Soldier was given a Commonwealth military state funeral on 11 November 1993 before being interred in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial. In the early years of the 21st century, military state funerals were offered to the last few World War I veterans.
State funerals held in NSW are subject to a policy operated since 1966. Governors, Chief Justices, premiers, and long-term ministers are generally offered a state funeral. However the premier of NSW can offer such a service for those determined to be distinguished citizens of NSW. For example, soccer player Johnny Warren was given a state funeral in NSW. Where the family of the dead person does not wish to have a state funeral, the offer of a state memorial service will be considered.
On 27 November 2007, Bernie Banton, a campaigner for asbestos victims who worked for James Hardie, lost his battle with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease. His family was offered a state funeral by NSW premier Morris Iemma.
Current and former Governors, Premiers, deputy premiers, speakers of the Legislative Assembly, chief justices of the Supreme Court, presidents of the Court of Appeal and current members of the Executive Council are automatically eligible for a state funeral. It is the prerogative of the premier of the day to offer a state funeral to other prominent Queenslanders. A state funeral was offered for TV celebrity Steve Irwin in September 2006 but his family declined the offer.
State funerals are generally offered to former governors, premiers and other senior public officials. At the discretion of the premier, a state funeral can be offered to other prominent Victorians, for example broadcaster Peter Evans (1985), Australian Rules football player Ted Whitten (1995), race-car driver Peter Brock (2006), actor Charles 'Bud' Tingwell (2009), and former Australian Rules football player and charity worker Jim Stynes (2012). Explorers Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills received Victoria's first (and Australia's first) state funeral on 21 January 1863.
State funerals are generally offered to former Governors, Premiers, Deputy Premiers, Speakers of the House of Assembly, Chief Justices and other senior public officials.
The offer of a state funeral is a decision of the Cabinet.
The offer of a state funeral is at the discretion of the Chief Minister. People who have received state funerals include former chief minister Trevor Kaine, Supreme Court judge Terry Connolly and former chairman of the Canberra Commercial Development Authority Jim Pead.
Cambodia held state funerals for the following people:
According to the Act of State Funeral (1948), state funerals are declared by presidential order after a majority vote in the Legislative Yuan. The national flag shall be flown at half-mast on the day of the state funeral.
State funerals (or equivalent) were arranged for the following persons:
Prior to 1997, in British Hong Kong, Edward Youde was given Hong Kong's first state funeral in 1986. The casket was carried by ten guardsmen, draped in the Union Flag, and a 17-gun salute from HMS Tamar (shore station) was fired. The funeral was exceptionally well attended.
Since 1997, only three people from Hong Kong have been allowed to have the flag of the People's Republic of China draped on their coffin during their funeral:
Funerals using a SAR flag are not deemed state funerals in Hong Kong.
The government provides funerals for fallen uniform service members. Flags of the specific service or the SAR flag maybe used on the coffin. Hong Kong Police Band may lead the procession as part the funeral ceremony and escort maybe provided by Hong Kong Police to final resting place at Gallant Garden, a cemetery reserved for civil servants who died on duty.
In India, State funerals were initially reserved only for current and former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Union ministers and State Chief Ministers. And the decision to accord a state funeral rested initially with the union government. But laws have been changed such that the state government can now decide who will be given a state funeral, depending on the stature of the deceased. If the union government has decided for a state funeral then following procedures will be applied to all over India, else if the state government has declared a state funeral then it applies only to the state.
The government takes into consideration the contribution made by the person to the state in various fields like politics, literature, law, science and arts. The chief minister of the concerned state takes a decision after consultations with other cabinet ministers. Once a decision is taken on the issue, it is conveyed to senior police officials including the deputy commissioner, the police commissioner and the superintendent of police, who have to make all the arrangements for a state funeral.
During a State funeral,
State funerals were organized for the following individuals (listed by category roughly according to their standing in the Indian order of precedence):
Other Personalities who received a state funeral:
It is also to be noted that in the event of death of either the Head of the State or Head of the Government of a foreign country the Indian Mission accredited to that country may fly the national flag at half-mast. In the case of Pope John Paul II, India declared a three-day official mourning period.
A state funeral was arranged for the military ceremony on their deathbed on the respective date:
In Japan, before the Second World War, a state funeral was performed when an Imperial edict is issued. Since then, funerals of the Emperor and the other members of the Imperial Family were privately organized, and only certain portions of the funeral involved the state.
Traditionally, state funerals are reserved for all former Governors-General, as well as Prime Ministers who die in office, such as John Ballance in 1893, Joseph Ward in 1930 and Michael Joseph Savage in 1940. The funeral of John Ballance occurred in Whanganui after a lying in state in the New Zealand Parliament and a rail journey from Wellington. It was a Masonic funeral carried out at the Whanganui cemetery where he was interred. Both funerals of Ward and Savage were held in Sacred Heart Cathedral adjacent to the New Zealand Parliament. In the case of Savage, his body lay in state in the Parliament building, where 50,000 people filed past it, before the Requiem Mass at the Cathedral. Others to receive state funerals include Sir Frederic Truby King (1937) who founded the Plunket Society, the unidentified victims of the Tangiwai rail disaster (1953), Victoria Cross recipient Jack Hinton (1997), the mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (2008) and the Unknown Warrior whose reinterment (from the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery on the Somme in France) took place on Armistice Day, 11 November 2004 and whose tomb at the New Zealand National War Memorial represents all New Zealand soldiers who died in war. The offer of a state funeral was refused by the family of former Prime Minister David Lange.
The Philippines held the state funerals for the following people:
A state funeral was arranged for the following people on their deathbed on the respective date:
Another type of funeral in Singapore is a state-assisted funeral. Similar to a state funeral, the deceased may or may not be entitled to a ceremonial gun carriage, though he/she does not lie in state in the Istana. Such funerals are accorded to:
State funerals in South Korea are a mix of the Western and Korean funeral traditions, these are modern adaptations of the rites held in the funerals of Emperors of Korea.
In Thailand, state funerals are mostly analogous to the royal funerals held for the monarch and members of the Royal Family. Royal ceremonies are also held for the cremation of the supreme patriarch and senior members of the Buddhist clergy. There is no official royal or state ceremony for deceased prime ministers or other senior government officials, but the king may sponsor funerals of such persons by royally attending the funeral, bestowing the use of a kot (funerary urn), royally bestowing bathing water for the body, and royally sponsoring cremations or burials.
A state funeral was arranged for the following people on their deathbed on the respective date:
In Vietnam, in a State Funeral, all national flags at governmental agencies worldwide, including public schools, hospitals, etc., will be tied to the pole by a black piece of cloth with the length equaling to the length of the flag, and the width equaling to one tenth of the flag, and the flag will be flown at half mast. Finally all entertainment are officially suspended within the days of the State Funeral.
State funerals in Belgium need three conditions: playing the national anthem, the presence of the King or one of his representatives and the presence of the national flag on the coffin. State funerals were held for all the kings and queens of Belgium, for some royal family members and for former prime ministers.
On 29 August 1945, two years after the German occupation force in Denmark had dissolved the Danish army and navy, a state funeral was held for 106 killed members of the Danish resistance at their execution site which was thus inaugurated as the memorial cemetery that would later become Ryvangen Memorial Park. While flags were flying half-mast throughout Copenhagen 106 hearses drove from the Christiansborg Riding Grounds through the city to Ryvangen, where bishop Hans Fuglsang-Damgaard led the funeral with participation from the royal family, the government and representatives of the resistance movement.
A state funeral was held for the former President Václav Havel in 2011.
In Finland state funerals are primarily reserved for former presidents but the honour has been granted to long-serving prime ministers, speakers of the parliament, and other distinguished citizens as well. In the 1990s the criteria for awarding a state funeral were considerably specified, so as not to diminish the prestige of the affair.
79 people have been awarded the honour of state funeral, among them:
The state funerals (obsèques nationales) are awarded by decree of the President of the French Republic to especially eminent Frenchmen and women. It was held for writers Victor Hugo (1885), Maurice Barrès (1923), Paul Valéry (1945), Colette (1954) and Aimé Césaire (2008), Generals Jacques Leclerc (1947), Giraud (1949) et de Lattre de Tassigny (1952) and politicians Georges Coulon (1912), Albert Lebrun (1951), Léon Blum (1951) and Édouard Herriot (1957) An even higher honour is burial in the Panthéon de Paris.
In Italy state funerals are granted by law to the Presidents of the constitutional entities, such has the Presidency, the Parliament, the Government and the Constitutional Court, even after their terms have expired, and to Ministers who died during their term in office. State Funerals can also be granted, by decree of the Council of Ministers, to people who gave particular services to the country; to citizens that brought honor to the nation; or to citizens who died in the line of duty, or were victims of either terrorism, or organized crime.
The official protocol provides for
Public mourning, either national or local, is declared following the dispositions of the Prime Minister's decrees. The flags are flown at half-mast outside of public buildings, while inside they display two black ribbons, with the exceptions provided for military flags, when required by military protocol. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives instructions to the Italian embassies and consulates around the world, and can ask the foreign embassies and consulates in Italy to fly their flags at half-mast.
If the departed held a public office, the body can lie in state in the building of the office's institution. In other cases it is followed the will of the family, the traditions of the office or the local customs. The family of the departed chooses the place in which the funeral will take place, in consultations with the Government's Department of State Ceremonies.
Outside of the cases provided for by the protocol, for example during natural events that deeply impact the community, solemn funerals can be arranged and the six people who carry the coffins are members of the Civil Protection.
State Funerals have been held for presidents, prime ministers and archbishops.
The royal funerals of Prince Claus, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard are the only royal funerals that were denoted state funerals; previous royal funerals were considered private affairs. The only non-royal Dutchman who is considered to have received a state funeral was Joannes van Heutsz in 1927.
Since proclaiming independence in 1991, by law the presidents and prime ministers are entitled to a funeral with state honors, but by a decision of government its possible for other senior officials and distinguished persons with great merit for the state to be buried with state honors. The largest state funeral was held in 2004 for President Boris Trajkovski and the funeral was attended by 47 foreign delegations. Among others that are buried with state honors, are the first prime minister of independent Macedonia Nikola Kljusev and the famous singer Toše Proeski.
In Russia, during the time of the Soviet Union (1917-1991), the state funerals of the most senior political and military leaders were staged as massive events with millions of mourners all over the USSR. The ceremonies held after the deaths as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko all followed the same basic outline. They took place in Moscow, began with a public lying in state of the deceased in the House of the Unions and ended with an interment at the Red Square. The most notable examples of such state funerals during the Soviet period of Russian history are the ceremonies that were held for Lenin and Stalin, and for the death and funeral of Leonid Brezhnev.
In the second half of the 20th century, whenever a General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union died, the event would first be officially acknowledged by Soviet radio and television. After several days of national mourning, the deceased would be given a state funeral and then buried. Soviet state funerals were often attended by foreign heads of state, heads of government, foreign ministers and other dignitaries from abroad. Following the death of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1982, there were five days of national mourning. Following the death of General Secretary Yuri Andropov in 1984, a four-day period of nationwide mourning was announced.
The state funeral for a deceased General Secretary would be arranged, managed and prepared by a special committee of the Communist Party that would be formed for the occasion. As the funeral committee would normally be chaired by the deceased's successor, the preparations for Soviet state funerals were usually followed with great interest by foreign political scientists trying to gauge power shuffles within the Communist Party. The allocation of responsibilities during the funeral, appointment of pallbearers and positions within the order of precedence observed during the televised funeral ceremonies in Moscow could often be interpreted as a clue for the future position of Politburo members within the Party. When, after Brezhnev's death in 1982, Yuri Andropov was elected chairman of the committee in charge of Brezhnev's funeral, this was seen as a first sign by First World commentators that Andropov might be the most likely candidate for the position of General Secretary. Prior to interment, the body of the deceased General Secretary would lie in state in the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions which was decorated by numerous red flags and other communist symbols. The mourners, which usually would be brought in by the thousands, shuffled up a marble staircase beneath chandeliers draped in black gauze. On the stage at the left side of the Pillar Hall, amid a veritable garden of flowers, a full orchestra in black tailcoats would play classical music. The deceased's embalmed body, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a tie, would be displayed in an open coffin on a catafalque banked with carnations, red roses and tulips, facing the long queue of mourners. A small guard of honour would be in attendance in the background. At the right side of the hall there would be placed seats for guests of honour, with the front row reserved for the dead leader's family.
On the day of the funeral, final ceremonies would be held at the Pillar Hall during which the lid of the coffin would be temporarily closed. The coffin would then be carried out of the House of the Unions and placed on a gun carriage drawn by a military vehicle. A funeral parade would then convey the coffin from the House of the Unions to the Red Square. Two officers led the funeral parade, carrying a large portrait of the deceased, followed by a group of numerous soldiers carrying red floral wreaths. A group of general officers would come next, carrying the late leader's decorations and medals on small red cushions. Behind them, the coffin rested atop a gun carriage. Walking immediately behind were the members of the deceased's family. The Politburo leaders, wearing red armbands, came next and led the last group of official mourners. At Brezhnev's funeral, the escort of official mourners included forty-four persons.
As the coffin reached the middle of the Red Square, it would be removed from the carriage and placed on a red-draped bier facing the Lenin Mausoleum, with its lid removed. After a series of funeral speeches, which were delivered by military and political leaders (typically including the deceased's successor as General Secretary, as well as 'ordinary' workers) from the balcony of the Lenin Mausoleum, the coffin would be carried in a procession around the mausoleum to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis just behind it. There, with the most senior mourners looking on, the coffin would be placed on a red-draped bier and the mourners would pay last respects. The coffin's lid would then be closed for the final time and the body lowered into the ground by two men, with handfuls of earth thrown onto the coffin by the senior mourners. The grave would be filled in immediately afterward, while the mourners were still present to watch. Gun salutes would be fired, sirens sounded around the Kremlin and the Soviet national anthem be played. This marked the end of the interment. The senior mourners would then return to the balcony of the Lenin Mausoleum to review a parade on Red Square while the military band would play quick marches. This concluded the state funeral.
With small deviations, the described protocol was roughly the same for the state funerals of Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko. Lenin and Stalin were placed inside the Lenin Mausoleum while the others were interred in individual graves in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis located behind the mausoleum along the actual Kremlin wall. Stalin's body would lie beside Lenin's in the mausoleum until being moved to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis several years after his death.
In April 2007, Russian Federation's first President Boris Yeltsin was buried in state funeral after church ceremony at Novodevichy Cemetery. He was the first Russian leader and head of state in 113 years to be buried in a church ceremony, after Emperor Alexander III of Russia.
A state funeral was held for the former President Michal Kováč in 2016.
A state or ceremonial funeral consists of a military procession where the coffin is borne on a gun carriage from the private resting chapel to Westminster Hall. In a state funeral the gun carriage is pulled by members of the Royal Navy. In a royal ceremonial funeral, the gun carriage is pulled by horses, as opposed to servicemen. The body usually lies in state in Westminster Hall for three days. This is then followed by a funeral service at Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral. Many of the features of a state funeral are shared by other types of funerals—a royal ceremonial funeral (for example, that of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales) often has a lying in state and Westminster Abbey service. The real distinction between a state funeral and a royal ceremonial funeral is that a state funeral requires a motion or vote in Parliament. State funerals are usually reserved for sovereigns, though on rare occasions, they may be granted to distinguished citizens with exceptional contributions to the country. Other members of the royal family, or occasionally politicians, typically receive ceremonial funerals instead.
The most recent state funeral was that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. Although technically following her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, Diana, Princess of Wales was no longer a member of the Royal Family, and as such not entitled to a state or ceremonial funeral, the large outpouring of public grief following her death led then-Prime Minister Tony Blair to recommend a ceremonial funeral because she was the mother of Princes William and Harry, who were then respectively second and third in the line of succession to the British throne. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Margaret, Baroness Thatcher also received ceremonial funerals.
A massive state funeral was held for the late President Josip Broz Tito on 8 May 1980 in Belgrade, the capital city of the SFR Yugoslavia. It was the largest funeral of a statesman in the 20th century, with 129 delegations from all around the world.Tito's funeral drew many statesmen to Belgrade. Notably absent statesmen from funeral were Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro. His death came in the moment when Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ended American-Soviet détente. Yugoslavia, although a communist state, was non-aligned during the Cold War and fearful that the nation might be invaded like Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. After learning that Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng would lead the delegation of China, ailing Leonid Brezhnev decided to lead the Soviet delegation. In order to avoid meeting with Leonid Brezhnev and the middle of electoral campaign for the 1980 United States Presidential election, Carter opted to send his mother Lilian Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale as heads of the US delegation. After realizing that leaders of all Warsaw Pact nations would attend the funeral, Carter's decision was criticized by Presidential candidate George H. W. Bush as sign that the United States "inferentially slams Yugoslavs at time that country has pulled away from Soviet Union". Carter visited Yugoslavia later in June 1980 and made a visit to Tito's grave.
Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany was the most active statesman, meeting with Brezhnev, Erich Honecker and Edward Gierek. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sought to rally world leaders in order to harshly condemn the Soviet invasion. While she was in Belgrade, she held talks with Kenneth Kaunda, Schmidt, Francesco Cossiga and Nicolae Ceaușescu. Brezhnev met with Kim Il-sung and Honecker. James Callaghan, President of the British Labour Party explained his presence in Belgrade as attempt to warm relations between his party and Yugoslav communists, severed more than a decade ago after dissident Milovan Đilas was welcomed by Jennie Lee, Minister for the Arts under Harold Wilson. Mondale avoided Soviets, ignoring Brezhnev while passing close to him. Soviet and Chinese delegations also avoided each other.
Tito was interred on May 8 twice. First interment was for cameras and dignitaries. Grave was shallow with only 200 kg replica of sarcophagus. Second interment was held privately during the night. His coffin was removed, shallow grave was deepened. Coffin was enclosed with copper mask and interred again into much deeper grave which was sealed with cement and topped with a 9-ton sarcophagus. Communist officials were afraid that someone might steal the corpse, similarly to what happened to Charlie Chaplin. However, the 9 ton sarcophagus had to be put in place with a crane, which would make funeral unattractive.
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On 8 April 2013, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died of a stroke in London at the age of 87. On 17 April, she was honoured with a ceremonial funeral. Due to polarised opinion about her achievements and legacy, reaction to her death was mixed throughout Britain and evoked contrasting praise and criticism. The funeral, including a formal procession through Central London, followed by a church service at St Paul's Cathedral, cost around £3.6 million including £3.1 million for security. The funeral was notable for the attendance of the reigning monarch, Elizabeth II; each of her four successors as prime minister also paid homage. Her body was subsequently cremated at Mortlake Crematorium.
Thatcher's ashes were buried at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, in a private ceremony on 28 September 2013, alongside those of her husband Denis.Death and state funeral of George H. W. Bush
On November 30, 2018, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, died at his home in Houston, Texas. Bush was the first former U.S. president to die since Gerald Ford in 2006. At the age of 94 years and 171 days, Bush was the longest-lived U.S. president in history. His death resulted in Jimmy Carter becoming the oldest living former President of the United States; Carter is also 94, having been born four months after Bush in 1924.
Shortly after news broke of Bush's death, President Donald Trump declared a national day of mourning and ordered all flags "throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions" lowered to half staff for 30 days after his death. The state funeral of George H. W. Bush was the official funerary rites conducted by the Government of the United States which occurred over a period of four days from December 3 to 6, 2018.Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford
On December 26, 2006, Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California at 6:45 p.m. local time (02:45, December 27, UTC). At 8:49 p.m. local time, President Ford's wife of 58 years, Betty Ford, issued a statement that confirmed his death: "My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age. His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country." The causes of death listed on the subsequent death certificate were arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and
Ford died at the age of 93 years and 165 days, making him the longest-living United States President in history at the time, surpassing Ronald Reagan by 45 days, and having since been surpassed by George H. W. Bush, who lived to be past 94 years, and Jimmy Carter, who is currently 94 years old.
He was the second president (the first being Reagan) to die during the presidency of George W. Bush, as well as the second to die in the twenty-first century.Death and state funeral of Lech and Maria Kaczyński
Lech Kaczyński, the fourth President of the Republic of Poland, died on 10 April 2010, after a Polish Air Force Tu-154 crashed outside of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 aboard. His wife, economist and First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, was also among those killed.
After the death of Kaczyński was announced, a week of mourning was declared by the acting President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, spanning 11 to 18 April with a state funeral for the couple held on 18 April. Several countries observed a day of national mourning on the date of the funeral. The couple were buried together in a crypt in the Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, afterwards.Death and state funeral of Leonid Brezhnev
On 10 November 1982, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the third General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the fifth leader of the Soviet Union, died aged 75, a month before his 76th birthday after suffering a heart attack following years of serious ailments. His death was officially acknowledged on 11 November simultaneously by Soviet radio and television. After five days of national mourning, Brezhnev was given a state funeral and then buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Yuri Andropov, Brezhnev's eventual successor as general secretary, was chairman of the committee in charge of managing Brezhnev's funeral, held on 15 November 1982, five days after his death.
The funeral was attended by 32 heads of state, 15 heads of government, 14 foreign ministers and four princes; U.S. President Ronald Reagan sent George H. W. Bush, the Vice President of the United States. Eulogies were delivered by Yuri Andropov, Dmitriy Ustinov, Anatoly Alexandrov, and a factory worker.Death and state funeral of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
The state funeral of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was held on 19 August 1988 in the Shah Faisal Mosque located in Islamabad, Pakistan. General Zia-ul-Haq, Chief fo Army Staff (COAS) who was also serving as the President of Pakistan, had died in a C-130 Hercules plane, call sign: Pak-1, crashed near the Sutlej river on 17 August 1988. Several conspiracy theories exists regarding this incident, as other high-profile civilian and military personnel also died in the crash including the Chairman Joint chiefs General Akhtar Abdur Rehman and the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Arnold Lewis Raphel, and the military attaché, Brigadier General Herbert M. Wassom.The official announcement of Zia's death was announced by Ghulam Ishaq Khan, then-Chairman Senate acting as the Acting President, simultaneously via radio and television transmission on 17 August 1988. The Government of Pakistan announced to hold the state funeral given the Zia-ul-Haq who was buried with military honors in a specially crafted white marble tomb, adjacent to Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.
The funeral was attended by 30 heads of state, including the presidents of Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iran, India, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates as well as the Aga Khan IV and representatives of the crowned heads of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Key American politicians, U.S. Embassy staff in Islamabad, key personnel of the Pakistan Armed Forces, and chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy, Air Force also attended the funeral.Death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau
The death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau took place in September 2000. Pierre Trudeau was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 1968 to 1984, with a brief interruption in 1979–1980. Trudeau died on September 28, 2000. His casket lay in state on Parliament Hill from September 30 to October 1 and the following day at Montréal City Hall. On October 3, a state funeral was held at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.Death and state funeral of Richard Nixon
On April 22, 1994, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, died after suffering a stroke four days earlier, at the age of 81. His state funeral followed five days later at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in his hometown of Yorba Linda, California.
Nixon suffered a cerebrovascular accident on April 18, 1994 at his home in Park Ridge, New Jersey, and was taken to New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center. After an initial favorable prognosis, Nixon slipped into a deep coma and died four days later. His body was flown to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Orange County, California, via SAM 27000, the presidential plane used as Air Force One while Nixon was in office. His body was transported to the Nixon Library and laid in repose. A public memorial service was held on April 27, attended by world dignitaries and all five living Presidents of the United States, the first time that five U.S. presidents attended the funeral of another president.
Nixon's state funeral is unique among recent presidential state funerals in that, in accordance with his own wishes, none of the elements of the state ceremonies occurred in the nation's capital.Nixon's wife, Pat, had died ten months earlier on June 22, 1993.Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. His seven-day state funeral followed. After Reagan's death, his body was taken from his Bel Air, Los Angeles home to the Gates, Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California to prepare the body for burial. On June 7, Reagan's casket was transported by hearse and displayed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, then flown to Washington, D.C. on June 9 for a service, public viewing and tributes at the U.S. Capitol.
After lying in state for 34 hours in the Capitol rotunda, a state funeral service was conducted at the Washington National Cathedral on June 11, the day when President George W. Bush declared a national day of mourning. Later that day, after the service, Reagan's casket was transported back to California for interment at the Reagan Presidential Library. The state funeral was executed by the Military District of Washington (MDW) and was the first since that of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973. Richard Nixon, who presided over Johnson's funeral, declined to have a state funeral in 1994, which would be Reagan's final major public appearance. Reagan was the first former U.S. president to die in the 21st century.Death of Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez, the 45th President of Venezuela, died on 5 March 2013 at the age of 58. His death triggered a presidential election which was constitutionally required to be called within 30 days. Nicolás Maduro served as interim president following Chávez's death until 14 April, because the Vice President did not want to take charge of the country as Chávez had nominated Nicolas Maduro as a successor.Chávez was first elected as president in 1998 and was re-elected in 2000, 2006 and finally in 2012. However, Chávez was unable to be sworn in for a fourth term after the 2012 election due to his illness.Funeral of Pope John Paul II
The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Catholic Church observes nine days of mourning.On 22 February 1996, Pope John Paul II introduced revisions to the centuries-old ceremonies surrounding papal death, repose and burial. The revisions enacted through the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici gregis applied to his own funeral.Pope John Paul's funeral brought together what was, at the time, the single largest gathering in history of heads of state outside the United Nations, surpassing the 1965 funeral of Winston Churchill. Four kings, five queens, at least seventy presidents and prime ministers, and more than fourteen leaders of other religions attended, alongside the faithful. It is likely to have been one of the largest single gatherings of Christianity in history, with numbers estimated in excess of four million mourners gathering in Rome alone.Coinciding with the funeral in Vatican City, bishops at cathedrals throughout the world celebrated memorial masses. In an historical rarity, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox leaders, as well as representatives and heads from Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, offered their own memorials and prayers as a way of sympathising with the grief of Catholics.
At the funeral itself, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Eastern Orthodox Church was in the honorary first seat in the sector reserved for delegations from churches not in full communion with the See of Rome; this was the first time an Ecumenical Patriarch attended a papal funeral since the East–West Schism. The Archbishop of Canterbury (then Rowan Williams), was also present at the papal funeral, the first time since the Church of England broke with the Catholic Church in the 16th century. Also for the first time ever, the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Patriarch Abune Paulos, attended a papal funeral.Jesse Robredo
Jesse Manalastas Robredo (May 27, 1958 – August 18, 2012) was a Filipino statesman who served as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government in the administration of President Benigno Aquino III from 2010 until his death in 2012. Robredo was a member of the Liberal Party.
Beginning in 1988, Robredo served six terms as Mayor of Naga City in Camarines Sur. In recognition of his achievements as Naga City mayor, Robredo was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, the first Filipino mayor so honored. He was appointed to the Cabinet of President Aquino in July 2010.Robredo died on August 18, 2012, when the light aircraft he was travelling in crashed off the shore of Masbate Island, after suffering an engine failure.Later life of Winston Churchill
After the end of the World War II, Winston Churchill's Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, forcing him to step down as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. For six years he served as the Leader of the Opposition. During these years Churchill continued to influence world affairs,in 1946 he gave his Iron Curtain speech which spoke of the expansionist policies of the USSR and the creation of the Eastern Bloc; Churchill also argued strongly for British independence from the European Coal and Steel Community; he saw this as a Franco-German project and Britain still had an empire. In the General Election of 1951 Labour was defeated and Churchill became Prime Minister for a second time. Churchill continued to lead Britain but was to suffer increasingly from health problems.Aware that he was slowing down both physically and mentally he resigned from the Cabinet in 1955. However he continued to sit as an MP for Woodford until he retired from politics in 1964. Churchill died on 24 January 1965 and was granted the honour of a state funeral. He was buried in his family plot in St Martin's Church, Bladon near to where he was born at Blenheim Palace.List of dignitaries at the state funeral of John F. Kennedy
This is a list of dignitaries at the state funeral of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, and the funeral took place on November 25, 1963, in Washington, D.C..
The gathering of dignitaries was considered the largest gathering of foreign statesmen in the history of the United States. It was also the largest gathering of foreign dignitaries at a state funeral since that of King Edward VII in London in 1910. Although the state funerals of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1969 and Ronald Reagan in 2004 had large gatherings of foreign dignitaries, the funeral of Kennedy was the largest gathering of foreign dignitaries at any funeral in the United States, drawing 220 foreign dignitaries from 92 foreign nations, including 19 heads of state and government. Eisenhower's drew 191 from 78 nations, while Reagan's drew 218 from 165 nations.Lying in state
Lying in state is the tradition in which the body of a dead official is placed in a state building, either outside or inside a coffin, to allow the public to pay their respects. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country, state, or city. While the practice differs among countries, a viewing in a location other than the principal government building may be referred to as lying in repose.Operation London Bridge
Operation London Bridge has been a codename that referred to the plan for what will happen in the days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The plan was originally devised in the 1960s and is updated several times each year. It involves planning from government departments, the Church of England, Metropolitan Police Service, British Armed Forces, media and Royal Parks of London. Some key decisions relating to the plan were made by the Queen herself, although some can only be made by her successor (the current heir apparent is her son, Charles, Prince of Wales), after her death.
As of early 2017, the phrase "London Bridge is down" was expected to be used to announce the death of the Queen to the Prime Minister and key personnel, setting the plan into motion. Whether this phrase is still the designated one, after the June 2017 London Bridge attack, or after the fact that the code word is now publicly known has not been confirmed. Neither is it known when this code phrase was originally decided on.Peter II of Yugoslavia
Peter II (Serbo-Croatian: Petar / Петар; 6 September 1923 – 3 November 1970) was the last King of Yugoslavia, reigning from 1934 to 1945. He was the last reigning member of the Karađorđević dynasty which came to prominence in the early 19th century.State funeral of John F. Kennedy
The state funeral of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, took place in Washington, D.C., during the three days that followed his assassination on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.The body of President Kennedy was brought back to Washington soon after his death and was placed in the East Room of the White House for 24 hours. On the Sunday after the assassination, his flag-draped coffin was carried on a horse-drawn caisson to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of thousands lined up to view the guarded casket.Representatives from over 90 countries attended the state funeral on Monday, November 25. After the Requiem Mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral, the late president was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.State funerals in the United States
State funerals in the United States are the official funerary rites conducted by the Federal Government of the United States in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. that are offered to a sitting or former President of the United States, a President-elect, and others who have rendered distinguished service to the nation. Administered by the Military District of Washington (MDW), a command unit of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, state funerals are greatly influenced by protocol, steeped in tradition, and rich in history. However, the overall planning as well as the decision to hold a state funeral, is largely determined by the president and their family.