Funeral for Cameron's 'beautiful boy'

Family and friends hear excerpts of son's favourite story in private ceremony
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David and Samantha Cameron were joined by family and friends yesterday as they held a private funeral for their six-year-old son Ivan, who died last week.

Relatives, carers and medical staff were among those closely involved with his life who attended the service at St Nicholas Church, in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, near the Conservative leader's constituency.

Mourners heard an excerpt from Ivan's favourite story, the 1963 children's classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.

The book tells of a small boy called Max sent to his room who closes his eyes and imagines sailing to an island where he tames fantastic monsters and becomes the king of all wild things.

The congregation sang the hymn "Morning Has Broken" in a service said to have been a mixture of the traditional and the personal including a poem, songs and hymns. A gospel choir gave a rendition of "You Are So Beautiful" to mourners at the 13th-century church before a private family burial.

Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy and a rare and severe form of epilepsy, died in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

The Camerons arrived for the service holding hands. Mrs Cameron wore a dark dress with blue polka dots and a red scarf, and carried a small bunch of flowers. Mr Cameron wore a dark suit and a yellow tie. The couple had asked mourners not to wear black to the funeral.

The Camerons, who have two other children, five-year-old Nancy and Arthur, three, expressed their gratitude after receiving more than 10,000 letters and emails of support since Ivan's sudden death, which led to the suspension of parliamentary business as a mark of respect to the family.

In an email to well-wishers at the weekend the Camerons described Ivan as their "beautiful boy".