Elizabeth Taylor Was Fashionably Late To Her Own Funeral


Elizabeth Taylor wanted to have one last dramatic entrance. Her funeral at Forest Lawn cemetery was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. today, but it started 15 minutes later at her request. “She even wanted to be late to her own funeral,” her spokeswoman explained.

Reuters reports her coffin was draped with a blanket of gardenias, violets, and lily of the valley, and she was laid to rest under a marble angel in the cemetery’s Great Mausoleum, near her friend Michael Jackson.

The private, hour-long service included readings by her son, Michael Wilding, daughter Liza Burton Tivey, and a trumpet performance of “Amazing Grace” by her grandson Rhys Tivey. Colin Farrel, who was apparently a “close friend” of Taylor’s, read the poem “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. From Bartleby:

HOW to kéep-is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, … from vanishing away?
Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles deep,
Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there’s none, there’s none, O no there’s none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age’s evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there’s none; no no no there ‘s none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.
There ís one, yes I have one (Hush there!);
Only not within seeing of the sun,
Not within the singeing of the strong sun,
Tall sun’s tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth’s air,
Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one,
Oné. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place,
Where whatever’s prized and passes of us, everything that’s fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone,
Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet
Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matchèd face,
The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet,
Never fleets móre, fastened with the tenderest truth
To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an everlastingness of, O it is an all youth!
Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace-
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sighs soaring, soaring síghs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.
See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
Is, hair of the head, numbered.
Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould
Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept,
This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold
What while we, while we slumbered.
O then, weary then why
When the thing we freely fórfeit is kept with fonder a care,
Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept
Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder
A care kept.-Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.-
Yonder.-What high as that! We follow, now we follow.-Yonder, yes yonder, yonder,

Since the details about the service weren’t publicized it didn’t draw huge crowds. The Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to picket, but thankfully they didn’t show. Though there was a helicopter overhead and paparazzi lined up outside the cemetery’s gate, the L.A. Times reports, “it was a peaceful and quiet event.”

Elizabeth Taylor Laid To Rest At Private Service [Reuters]
The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo [Bartleby]
Elizabeth Taylor’s Service Held Without Disruption From Anti-Gay Protesters [L.A. Times]

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