Anyone who has had been involved in funeral planning for a loved one knows that funerals can be expensive. Depending on the casket and tombstone selected, all death related expenses can cost more than $10,000. The cost of a funeral for someone who was famous is significantly more as the family may want to bury their loved one in style and be able to accommodate as many friends and acquaintances as possible. Continue reading for five of the most expensive funerals.
- Michael Jackson – The King of Pop’s funeral cost was estimated at just over $1 million. Jackson’s private ceremony was held in Los Angeles and half of the money spent went towards his crypt at Forest Lawn, an upscale cemetery. It is estimated that another $35,000 went towards clothes for the pop icon and $21,000 went for food after the funeral. Jackson’s memorial celebration was held at the Staples Center, which included performances from artists such as Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder, and everyone who attended received a funeral program.
- Princess Diana of Wales – Princess Diana’s funeral was estimated to cost $8 million. According to the BBC, the funeral broadcast reached more than 2 billion people around the globe. Part of the funeral costs included the pageantry involved in carrying out a royal funeral procession, such as the cost of using the British Royal Guard.
- Ronald Reagan – When Ronald Reagan died in 2004, the total cost of his funeral was estimated to exceed $400 million. Reagan’s funeral lasted seven days, which included transport by the plane that served as Air Force One at the time, a funeral procession in Washington D.C. and a public viewing at Capitol Hill. The costs involved in transporting the body and of giving federal employees a day off—President Bush declared June 11, 2004 a National Day of Mourning—made up a lot of the total cost.
- Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley’s funeral costs may seem fairly inexpensive compared to others on the list, as the cost at the time was around $115,000, but adjusting for inflation that would be over $400,000 today. Some of the factors that contributed to the high cost of Elvis’s funeral included use of 17 Cadillac limousines, a 900-pound copper coffin and the King’s burial plot at Forest Hill Cemetery. After someone tried to steal Elvis’s remains, the family later moved him to Graceland.
- James Brown – Even though James Brown had one of the less expensive funerals on this list, his funeral cost was still well over six figures at $150,000. Brown’s celebration of life included a private funeral for family and close friends and a public viewing at the Apollo Theater. A public service was also held for Brown in Georgia. One of the most expensive parts of Brown’s funeral was the $25,000 gold plate finish casket he was buried in.