Jacksons gather to lay Michael to rest in Los Angeles

Amid a sea of white flowers and with a bejewelled crown on his gold-plated coffin Michael Jackson was finally laid to rest at an elaborate private mausoleum on a hillside near Los Angeles.

Celebrity friends, including Elizabeth Taylor and Macaulay Culkin, were among the 200 guests at Thursday night's ceremony, which was delayed an hour by the late arrival of the Jackson family's 31-car fleet of Rolls Royce and Cadillac limousines.

Many were said to have been moved to tears when soul singer Gladys Knight performed the hymn "Our Father".

"Gladys Knight sang her heart out, now we prepare to lay him to rest," the Rev Al Sharpton wrote on his Twitter feed after Jackson's five brothers – each wearing a single sequinned glove – carried his casket into the mausoleum.

Fans, who were kept several blocks away, must wait until next month's cinema release of This is it!, a tribute film that will benefit Jackson's estate, to see footage of the service.