Diana 1961-1997: The celebrities - Funeral for a friend

Jojo Moyes and Vanessa Thorpe on a diverse congregation

Yesterday the worlds of royalty and politics were joined by those of charity and show business at Westminster Abbey to commemorate Diana.

In a congregation that reflected all aspects of her life, the Queen Mother and Tom Cruise were brought together in grief. The Royal Family, and Diana's family, were there in full. Of the Princess's own family, the ninth Earl Spencer, Diana's younger brother Charles, who now lives near Cape Town, South Africa, had earlier followed the funeral cortege between the two young princes, and in the Abbey joined Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, her two sisters, and the Princess's mother, Frances Shand Kydd, who was wearing a prominent crucifix.

Present too were the family of Dodi Fayed, with whom she died. Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrods, arrived with his wife Heine, followed by his ever-present spokesman, Michael Cole.

But the massed ranks of government ministers, MPs, officials and ambassadors present at previous funerals of the country's great and good were missing. Political representation was minimal. It was led by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and his wife, Cherie Booth, with the deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, and his wife, Pauline, and the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook. Tory leader William Hague and his fiancee, Ffion Jenkins, represented the Conservatives, Paddy Ashdown and his wife the Liberal Democrats. All surviving former Prime Ministers were present : John Major with his wife Norma, Baroness Thatcher and her husband Denis, Lord Callaghan and his daughter Baroness Jay, and Sir Edward Heath. Betty Boothroyd, speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, represented Parliament.

Hillary Clinton, wife of the American president, accompanied by US Ambassador William Crowe, led the contingent from the USA, a place Diana held close to her heart and might have moved to.

Bernadette Chirac, wife of President Jacques Chirac of France, where Diana died last Sunday in a car crash, also attended. Suzanne Mubarak represented Egypt and Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were represented by his oldest sister, Princess Pilar de Borbon.

But it was perhaps the representatives from the world of show business that showed the funeral for the unique occasion it was. The arrival of Elton John, to sing his revised version of "Candle in the Wind", supported by his partner David Furnish, and accompanied by George Michael, showed how Diana had helped bring the Royal Family into the 20th century.

The singer Luciano Pavarotti, who had originally said he was too distressed to attend, came supported by two female companions.

Early arrivals at the Abbey included Hollywood stars Tom Cruise, his wife Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg.

Lord and Lady Attenborough, Sir David Frost and his wife Lady Carina Frost, Lord (Marmaduke) Hussey, the former chairman of the board of governors of the BBC, singer Sting, his wife Trudi Styler, and Sir Cliff Richard were also there.

Imran Khan arrived with his wife Jemima, one of Diana's closest friends who herself lost her father just a few weeks ago. They were accompanied by Sir James Goldsmith's widow Lady Annabel. Also present was another close friend, Rosa Monckton, with whom Diana had recently shared a holiday.

Demonstrating the diversity of her appeal, were Henry Kissinger, writer and broadcaster Clive James, Ruby Wax, who famously interviewed Diana's former sister-in-law Sarah Ferguson, Donatella Versace, Tom Conti, singers Diana Ross and Chris de Burgh and the businessman Richard Branson, as well as former EastEnders actress Anita Dobson.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower