Funeral held for wife of Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford

Mr Drakeford said he was ‘grateful for the many kind words of support’ he had received.

Bronwen Weatherby
Thursday 16 February 2023 13:55 GMT
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford and wife Clare (Bronwen Weatherby/PA)
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford and wife Clare (Bronwen Weatherby/PA) (PA Wire)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A funeral has been held for the wife of Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Clare Drakeford died suddenly at the age of 71 last month.

Family and friends of the couple, as well as senior politicians, attended the private service at Wenallt Chapel in Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff, on Thursday morning.

Among those to pay their respects were the Senedd’s presiding officer Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, the Welsh Conservatives’ Andrew RT Davies and Jane Dodds, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Former first minister Carwyn Jones also attended, along with a number of frontbench Labour MPs and Senedd cabinet ministers including Jane Hutt, Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles and chief executive of the Senedd Manon Antoniazzi.

In a tweet posted following the funeral, Mr Drakeford said: “The past weeks have been incredibly difficult for our family, but I’m grateful for the many kind words of support we have received.

“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Mr Drakeford and his wife married in 1977 and had three children. They lived in Cardiff at the time of her death.

Tributes were paid to Mrs Drakeford from across the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote in a tweet: “Incredibly sad to hear about the sudden death of Clare Drakeford.

“I know how committed Mark and Clare were to each other. I can’t imagine the pain Mark and his family will now be feeling.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to them.”

UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in a statement: “On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I send our deepest condolences to Mark and all the family.

“I know just how close they were as a couple, and I can only imagine the sense of loss Mark and the whole family are feeling.”

Mr Drakeford revealed in an ITV Wales podcast that he had isolated from his wife for most of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, living in a separate building in the garden of his family home in order to keep her and her elderly mother safe while they were both shielding.

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