You won’t believe what the mega-wealthy spend on a funeral

Sarah Coles
Michael Jackson's $1 million funeral
Michael Jackson's $1 million funeral

The most expensive funerals in the UK tend to be reserved for royalty and politicians - who we spend millions of pounds laying to rest. It's easy to see why - when you factor in the cost of closing the roads and securing the busiest city in the country.

However, while the nation stopped to mourn the death of the likes of Princess Diana and Winston Churchill, more recently, the mega-wealthy have been going to their graves at the most incredible expense, without us noticing.

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A typical mega-wealthy funeral can easily cost £125,000 - so where does the money go?

The coffin
You can buy a coffin for as little as £150, but for that you're not going to get the kind of bling that the mega-wealthy have surrounded themselves in throughout their lives. If you're after a gold-plated coffin, like the one Michael Jackson was buried in (pictured), you can expect to spend between £10,000 and £20,000 - and plenty of people do.

The burial outfit
You don't want to meet your maker in just any old outfit, and while most people will be buried in a much-loved item of clothing, the mega-wealthy may well have something designer and bespoke run up for the occasion. Michael Jackson's family is said to have splashed out on a $25,000 outfit for his funeral (just over £19,000).

The burial
If you want a burial in a cemetery that's heavily in demand, then you can expect to pay up to £35,000 for a space - plus of course, the £20,000 for a fancy headstone to remind people in death of how important you were in life.

The transport
The Victorians were great exponents of the funeral procession - where your worth was measured in the length of the procession, and the value of the vehicles. Some still take the Victorian approach - with a horse drawn glass carriage costing up to £2,500. To follow your horse-drawn hearse, how about a fleet of Rolls Royce cars, which will set you back £300 or more per car - so £3,000 for the kind of procession to halt traffic.

The average cost of flowers for a wedding is just under £650. This is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of funeral flowers. Interflora's range includes a £270 butterfly tribute, and £250 casket sprays. A handful of those, will set you back the best part of £1,000. The mega-wealthy don't stop there though, and will decorate the church and the wake, with thousands of pounds of blooms.

The wake
The ultra-wealthy need a proper send-off. Michael Jackson's wake, for example, was held at a restaurant, where the food and the open bar is said to have cost more than $20,000 (just over £15,000)

The venue
If a restaurant doesn't cut the mustard, you can opt for a more impressive venue. Some that are available for wakes include Dulwich Picture gallery (from £3,600) and the Orangery at 11 Cavendish Square (from £1,800).

Of course, if you don't fancy being buried (and you have £80,000 to spare), you can consider being cryogenically frozen.

But what do you think? Is this a sensible way for anyone to be spending their cash? Let us know in the comments.