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Pictures of dead celebrities can be hard to look at, but remember the good reasons behind open caskets. Many of these celebrities probably wanted the many fans who loved them to be able to say farewell. In lieu of a final message, fans and loved ones can take a moment to look at or pay their respects to the body.


Even if you simply came to this list to learn more about the final moments of your favorite celeb, you may find a bit of closure as well, but keep in mind that photos of dead bodies are sometimes difficult to see.

Like so many proceedings associated with the royal family, the coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II holds a specific history with it: It was made decades ago with a liner of lead that makes it especially heavy.

The oak coffin was made more than 30 years ago, funeral directors confirmed to USA TODAY. Leverton & Sons, which has served as funeral directors to the royal household said it inherited the coffin made for the queen by another firm, Kenyons.

The choice of flowers in the wreath on her coffin, the music and prayer selections, even the design of the Royal Hearse (lots of glass and inside light so the casket can be seen even at night), were all decisions made by the queen.

After Queen Elizabeth II died last week at age 96, world leaders and regular citizens flooded the internet to mourn. But so did conspiracy theorists, including some who allege that the late monarch's body isn't actually in the coffin.

The queen's state funeral is set to take place on Monday, according to the royal family's website. On Wednesday, her coffin was transported from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, where she'll lie in state for several days so that the public can say goodbye and pay respects.

"I keep hearing people suggesting the Queen isn't in the coffin as apparently the same happened with the Queen's grandfather," the user wrote, referring to King George V, who died in 1936. "Sounds like a load of rubbish to me. It would be insane if she wasn't."

"I have to admit that I wondered if it was or not," one person wrote in response. "I do think it's a massive security nightmare having her body being transported from one end of the UK to another whilst the entire journey is broadcast over international TV. I'd imagine if some terrorist organisation wanted to intercept the coffin and hold it for ransom, all of this made it a hell of a lot easier for them to do so!"

"Most people are buried underground," the managing director of one family funeral service said, according to WHBQ. "If you have a coffin vault or a family chamber in a church then that coffin remains above ground and open to the elements. A sealed coffin is very important."

Bernhardt displayed an off-stage quirkiness that only added to her mystique. She traveled with an entourage of wild animals, including a cheetah, a wolf, and a boa-constrictor. An alligator named Ali-Gaga died after being fed too much milk and champagne. Bernhardt liked to wear a stuffed, dead bat. Most famously, she traveled with a coffin where she claimed to sleep. A widely circulated photo of a peaceful Bernhardt lying in a coffin, eyes closed, draped with flowers, no doubt served to fuel public curiosity.

An 1865 guidebook to Highgate rightly describes Egyptian Avenue as "a cold stony death-palace." Originally, this hundred-foot-long passageway, nicknamed the Street of the Dead, was enclosed. The ceiling collapsed long ago, but the eight private burial vaults that line the passage remain. Each vault is secured with a heavy cast iron door depicting an upside-down torch, a symbol for extinguished life. Behind each door there's room for a dozen coffins on stone shelves. You'll swear you hear some of them stirring as you hasten past on the gravel path.

Learn about caskets and coffins, hearses through history, plus the funerals of Presidents, Popes, celebrities and more while you witness the cultural heritage of the funeral service industry and its time-honored tradition of compassion.

On the day of his funeral, hundreds of people lined the streets of Bristol to pay their respects to the star as the hearse carrying his coffin drove past. However, only 10 family members and close friends were allowed to attend the service because of the COVID-19 restrictions at the time.

As People (opens in new tab) reports, the Queen left a handwritten, final note for her late husband on top of his coffin, where it could be seen (although not clearly enough to read it) throughout the funeral service.

His death on Aug. 16, 1977 stunned the music industry and devastated millions of fans worldwide. In the days following his funeral, speculation grew among a small group of skeptics that Elvis might not have died after all. Despite clear statements from doctors and a coroner that the 42-year-old superstar was dead, disbelievers were adamant that the gyrating beloved baritone had faked his own death to go into hiding.

A vast majority of Americans believe Presley did in fact die in 1977. A Gallup poll conducted in 1997 found only 4% of Americans thought Presley was alive, while 93% of those surveyed were certain he was dead.

The death of a celebrity draws our attention to their funeral and in turn encourages us to think of how our send off would be. Gone are the days of sombre religious funeral. We are now embracing life centred ceremonies, with personalised eulogies, laughter, personalised coffins and urns, and gone is the traditional black clothing for most mourners.

The Greeks believed that at the moment of death, the psyche, or spirit of the dead, left the body as a little breath or puff of wind. The deceased was then prepared for burial according to the time-honored rituals. Ancient literary sources emphasize the necessity of a proper burial and refer to the omission of burial rites as an insult to human dignity (Iliad 23: 71). Relatives of the deceased, primarily women, conducted the elaborate burial rituals that were customarily of three parts: the prothesis (laying out of the body (54.11.5), the ekphora (funeral procession), and the interment of the body or cremated remains of the deceased. After being washed and anointed with oil, the body was dressed (75.2.11) and placed on a high bed within the house. During the prothesis, relatives and friends came to mourn and pay their respects. Lamentation of the dead is featured in Greek art at least as early as the Geometric period, when vases were decorated with scenes portraying the deceased surrounded by mourners. Following the prothesis, the deceased was brought to the cemetery in a procession, the ekphora, which usually took place just before dawn. Very few objects were actually placed in the grave, but monumental earth mounds, rectangular built tombs, and elaborate marble stelai and statues were often erected to mark the grave and to ensure that the deceased would not be forgotten. Immortality lay in the continued remembrance of the dead by the living. From depictions on white-ground lekythoi, we know that the women of Classical Athens made regular visits to the grave with offerings that included small cakes and libations.

The accepted public facts about the death and funeral of Elvis are clear. The star was pronounced dead by doctors at Memphis Baptist Memorial Hospital at 3.30pm on August 16, 1977. At 4pm his father stood on the steps of Graceland and told the gathered media. The following day his body was brought home and Vernon allowed thousands of fans to file past the casket in the entrace foyer of the mansion before the family had their own private time alone with him. A private service took place on the morning of August 18 before the casket was driven to Forest Hills Cemetery. Over 80,000 people lined the route. So, how is it possible that everyone in public and in private was mistaken?

Having said that, one quick look at the caskets out there, and you understand that the variety is impressive. Finding one coffin that you like has never been easy. And one thing to begin with when buying is whether you want a split-couch or a full-couch casket.

In the case of full-couch caskets, the lid includes just one piece, which is typically hinged. Even the coffin can be considered to be a full-couch as the removing/opening the lid allows you to see the entire body.

David Beckham, the (1) ____ captain of England's national football team, waited in line for over 13 hours on Friday to pay his respects to Queen Elizabeth II. While other celebrities (2) ____ the queue with VIP passes, soccer legend Beckham wanted to share the experience with "ordinary" people. TV (3) ____ shows him appearing to wipe away tears as he (4) ____ past the coffin at Westminster Hall. Queen Elizabeth II died on September the 8th at the age of 96. Her body is currently (5) ____ in state for four-and-a-half days so that mourners can pay their respects. Many people were delighted that Beckham was in the queue with them. The football star told reporters: "It's a day for us to remember the incredible (6) ____ that she's left."

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