Bright stars from the worlds of art, royalty, diplomacy, and Hollywood turned out in mourning black Saturday to honor Princess Diana, whose shining celebrity haunted her in her final moments of life.
Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Sting and George Michael were there. So was Tom Cruise, who spoke out sharply against paparazzi and condemned their possible role in Diana’s death in a high-speed car crash in Paris.
The famous joined family friends and representatives of more than 100 charities dear to Diana.
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton also was among the 1,900 mourners at Westminster Abbey, representing the United States. Bernadette Chirac, wife of the French president, represented her country, where the princess died a week ago.
Members of Europe’s royal families and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger flew to London for the funeral.
Britain honored Diana not just as member of the royal family, but as the woman who had become the country’s greatest ambassador.
Prime Minister Tony Blair read from the 1st Book of Corinthians. Former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, Edward Heath and James Callaghan joined mourners from every political party. Conservative lawmaker Winston Churchill, grandson of Britain’s wartime leader, also was present.
More than two dozen members of Britain’s royal family attended the funeral, led by Queen Elizabeth II. Sarah, Duchess of York, who is divorced from the queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, made a rare public appearance with the royals.
International fashion stars came to honor the woman whose beauty and elegance graced their creations - Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace, whose brother, Gianni, was killed in July.
British designers Bruce Oldfield, whose career Diana helped launch, and Elizabeth Emanuel, who created the dress Diana wore when she married Prince Charles in 1981, were also there.
Among the early arrivals were Cruise, wearing dark glasses, and his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, wearing a black hat. They stood with Hanks before the abbey’s doors opened.
There were gasps from the crowd outside when Diana Ross was spotted. And spectators broke into a spontaneous cheer when millionaire businessman Richard Branson, a close friend of Diana’s and owner of Virgin Airlines, arrived.
Among Diana’s well-known friends at the funeral were television interviewer David Frost and former Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan and his wife, Jemima Goldsmith, whose billionaire father, Sir James Goldsmith, died recently. The princess had made several trips to Pakistan to help raise funds for a cancer hospital established by Khan in his mother’s memory.