Michael was finally laid to rest today in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn’s Cemetery, in Glendale, Los Angeles.
The guest list was limited to two hundred of his family and closest friends. The seating was situated outside the Mausoleum, in the open air, where the temperature was ninety degrees.
The ceremony was due to begin at 7p.m. for a sunset ceremony, but because of an unexplained delay, the family did not arrive until ninety minutes later when it was fully dark.
Among the numerous guests were Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Macauley Culkin, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Chris Tucker, Kenny Ortega and Lisa Marie Presley. Michael’s attorney Tom Mesereau was also present.
A media camera feed was allowed inside before the ceremony, but as soon as Michael’s casket arrived, the feed was cut off. His brothers acted as pallbearers, dressed in matching black suits, red ties, sunglasses and each wore one glittering glove.
Michael’s three children placed a jeweled crown on top of his casket and it was thought that they had each written a farewell note to their father, which was placed inside the casket and several guests shared their memories and thoughts of Michael.
Gladys Knight sang ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’ accompanied by Greg Phillanganes on piano, and later she also sang ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.
The service lasted about one hour.
Michael’s casket was taken inside the mausoleum where the guests filed past, each one saying a private farewell to Michael. Elizabeth Taylor was said to be the last guest to do so.
It is thought that Michael’s mother Katherine was too overcome with grief to even enter the Mausoleum, and she had to be helped to her car when it was time to leave.
The family and guests went to a restaurant in Pasadena following the ceremony.
Mrs Jackson filed papers in court to ask the estate to pay the funeral costs, and Judge Beckloff, after conferring with Mr Branca and Mr McClain, who did not dispute the filing, agreed that the costs could be met by the estate, even though a block of twelve grave sites had been purchased by the family.