LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Elizabeth Taylor had the last laugh on Thursday: she was buried a day after her death aged 79 — but exactly 15 minutes behind schedule, on her strict orders.
The Hollywood legend was laid to rest at the Forest Lawn celebrity cemetery outside Los Angeles, where less than two years ago she attended the funeral of her long-time friend, pop icon Michael Jackson.
“The service was scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm, but at Miss Taylor’s request started late,” said a statement by her publicist released after the closed-door service had finished.
“Miss Taylor had left instructions that it was to begin at least 15 minutes later than publicly scheduled, with the announcement: ‘She even wanted to be late for her own funeral’,” it added.
The hour-long ceremony included a recital of the Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” and other readings by her children and grandchildren.
“Miss Taylor’s grandson Rhys Tivey performed a moving trumpet solo of ‘Amazing Grace.’ Rabbi Jerry Cutler officiated,” said the statement.
“The casket was closed and draped with a blanket of abundant, fragrant gardenias, violets, and lily of the valley. Miss Taylor was interred in The Great Mausoleum, sheltered beneath a soaring marble Michelangelo angel.”