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?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine