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

SEE ALSO: You can now send your ashes into space

See also: Five weird and wonderful funerals

See also: You might want to sit down: funeral debts hit astonishing highs

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.

Highest-earning dead celebrities
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Highest-earning dead celebrities
MJ may have died over six years ago but his legacy still lives on. The King of Pop made $115m this year, but how? Cirque du Soleil in Vegas showcasing Michael Jackson One is one of the source's of Michael Jackson's cash flow but the Mijac Music catalogue and music sales also contribute.
Elvis pulls in most of his money from ticket sales at his Graceland home. Now it may seem surprising that this rock and roll legend could generate that much income from tours of his home, but it makes more sense when you realise a regular adult ticket will set you back $77!
The Marley Beverage Company and House of Marley are just two of the companies bringing in the big bucks for reggae legend Bob Marley. Music sales are also obviously a huge contributor with more than 75 million albums sold so far. 
Celebrity fragrances might not really be that sought after any more but White Diamonds, one of Elizabeth Taylor's perfumes, was first released 24 years ago and continues to be sold to this day proving that maybe there really are some things that never go out of fashion. 
Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly still an international fashion and film icon. In 2011, Authentic Brand Group bought the rights to her brand and it's thanks to them that she's still pulling in top dollar as well as a clothing line at American store, Macy's, and a range of lingerie.
John Lennon was part of one of the biggest musical acts of all time, The Beatles, although unfortunately his stardom was cut short when he was shot dead in 1980. The songwriter still gets his share of the album sales though and is reported to take $12 million each year. 
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Paul Walker was just 40-years-old when he died in 2013 in a car crash, but his legacy still lives on thanks to the film franchise, The Fast and the Furious. The most recent film took $1.5 billion and although Walker died during filming, he still appears in the flick.
Bettie Page was one of America's iconic pin-up girls, even gaining the nickname 'Queen of Pinups' thanks to her trademark look. The model was also one of the earliest Playmates of the Month to feature in Playboy magazine. Page now makes most of her money at the hands of fashion, clothing and lingerie lines. 
Theodor Geisel was responsible for some of the quirkiest and best-loved cartoon characters and children's book heroes. The artist and author published his works under the title of Dr.Seuss with some of his most famous creations including The Lorax, The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat still netting him money to this day. 

Not to be confused with the award-winning film director of the same name, Steve McQueen was, at one point, one of the highest paid film stars in the world. Some of McQueen's most famous films include The Thomas Crown Affair, The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. His image is still used in adverts and commercials, bringing in $9 million worth of revenue. 

James Dean was a certified heartthrob and cultural icon of the 1950s who sadly died in a car accident at the age of just 24. His iconic image has been used throughout the last 60 years in a variety of ways all of which have been bringing in the cash. Most recently Dean's image was featured on a designer Dolce & Gabbana tshirt. 

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