State funeral
Overview
 
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol
Etiquette
Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group...

, held to honor heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition. Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning
National day of mourning
A national day of mourning is a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country's populace. They are designated by that nation's government...

 after the family of the deceased gives consent.
Encyclopedia
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol
Etiquette
Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group...

, held to honor heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition. Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning
National day of mourning
A national day of mourning is a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country's populace. They are designated by that nation's government...

 after the family of the deceased gives consent. A state funeral will often generate mass publicity from both national and global media outlets, such as state funerals undertaken in the United Kingdom as well as state funerals in the United States
State funerals in the United States
State funerals in the United States are public funerals held in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. that are offered to a sitting or ex-President of the United States, a President-elect, as well as other people designated by the President...

.

Hong Kong

Only three people from Hong Kong have been given the allowed to have a Chinese national flag drapped on their coffin during their funeral:
  • Henry Fok Ying-tung (2006)—Beijing
    Beijing
    Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

     and Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

  • Ann Tse-kai (2000)—Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

  • Wong Ker-lee (2004)


Funerals using a SAR flag is not deemed a state funeral in Hong Kong.

Uniforms services also provide funerals for fallen members. Flags of the specific service or the SAR flag maybe used on the coffin. Escort maybe provided by Hong Kong Police to Gallant Garden
Gallant Garden
Gallant Garden , in Wo Hop Shek Public Cemetery at Wo Hop Shek, Hong Kong, was established in November 1996 for civil servants who lost their lives on duty. In 2000, permanent earth burial was extended to both civil servants and non-civil servants who died with exceptional bravery while on duty...

. For police funerals the force's pipe band, police vehicles (to tranport the body) and pallbearers are used.

India

India held a state funeral for its founding leader, Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

, who was assassinated on 30 January 1948. State funerals were also organised for India's Prime Ministers who died in office—Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 (1964), Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Srivastava Shastri was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of India and a significant figure in the Indian independence movement.-Early life:...

 (1966), and Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 (1984). A state funeral was arranged for Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa , born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950...

 on her deathbed on 5 September 1997 and for Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Baba
Śri Sathya Sai Baba , born as Sathyanarayana Raju was an Indian guru, spiritual figure, mystic, philanthropist, and educator. He claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, a spiritual saint and miracle worker who died in 1918 and whose teachings were an eclectic blend of Hindu and...

 on his death on 27 April 2011.

Singapore

A state funeral was arranged for the following people on their deathbed on the respective date:
  • Yusof bin Ishak
    Yusof bin Ishak
    Yusof bin Ishak was an eminent Singaporean politician and the first President of Singapore of Minangkabau descent. His portrait appears on the Singapore Portrait Series currency notes introduced in 1999.-Early life:...

     (1970)
  • Benjamin Henry Sheares
    Benjamin Henry Sheares
    Benjamin Henry Sheares, GCB , was the second President of Singapore.-Early life:Sheares was born the second of six children in Singapore to a Eurasian family with an English lineage. His father Edwin H. Sheares, a technical supervisor of the Public Works Department, was born in England and raised...

     (1981)
  • Dr. Wee Kim Wee
    Wee Kim Wee
    Wee Kim Wee GCB was the fourth President of Singapore from 2 September 1985 to 1 September 1993.-Early life:Born into a humble family, Wee Kim Wee was the son of a clerk, Wee Choong Lay and his wife Chua Lay Hua. His father died when he was eight...

     (2 May 2005)
  • S. Rajaratnam (25 February 2006)
  • Dr. Goh Keng Swee
    Goh Keng Swee
    Goh Keng Swee was the second Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore between 1973 and 1984, and a Member of Parliament for the Kreta Ayer constituency for a quarter of a century. Born in Malacca in the Straits Settlements into a Peranakan family, he came to Singapore at the age of two years...

     (23 May 2010)

Malta

A state funeral was held for former President of Malta
President of Malta
The President of Malta is the constitutional head of state of Malta.The President is appointed by a resolution of the House of Representatives of Malta for a five year term, taking an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution....

 and President of the United Nations General Assembly
President of the United Nations General Assembly
The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly on a yearly basis.- Election :...

 Guido de Marco
Guido de Marco
Guido de Marco was a Maltese politician, who served as the sixth President of Malta from 1999 to 2004. A noted statesman and lawmaker, de Marco also served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, Justice, and Minister for Foreign Affairs.He is widely regarded as one of the great...

 in August 2010.

Poland

Poland held a state funeral for President of Poland Lech Kaczyński
Lech Kaczynski
Lech Aleksander Kaczyński was Polish lawyer and politician who served as the President of Poland from 2005 until 2010 and as Mayor of Warsaw from 2002 until 22 December 2005. Before he became a president, he was also a member of the party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość...

 and his wife, Maria Kaczyńska
Maria Kaczynska
Maria Kaczyńska was the First Lady of Poland from 2005-10 as the wife of Lech Kaczyński, late President of Poland.-Early and personal life:Born as Maria Helena Mackiewicz in Machowo to Lidia and Czesław Mackiewicz. Her father fought in the Vilnius Armia Krajowa , while an uncle fought in the...

, on April 18, 2010 after he and 95 others perished in a plane crash
2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash
The 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash occurred on 10 April 2010, when a Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board...

.

Russia

In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, during the time of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (1917-1991), the state funerals of the most senior political and military leaders were staged as massive events with millions of mourners all over the USSR. The ceremonies held after the deaths as Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

, Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov
Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was a Soviet politician and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 12 November 1982 until his death fifteen months later.-Early life:...

 and Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

 all followed the same basic outline. They took place in Moscow, began with a public lying in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 of the deceased in the House of the Unions
House of the Unions
The House of the Unions or called "Palace of Unions" is the historical building in Moscow, Russia. It is situated on the corner of Bolshyaya Dmitrovka and Okhotny Ryad streets.-Origins:...

 and ended with an interment at the Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

. The most notable examples of such state funerals during the Soviet period of Russian history are the ceremonies that were held for Lenin and Stalin, and for the death and funeral of Leonid Brezhnev
Death and funeral of Leonid Brezhnev
On 10 November 1982, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the third General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the fifth leader of the Soviet Union, died a 75 year-old man after suffering a heart attack following years of serious ailments. His death was officially acknowledged on 11...

.

In the second half of the 20th century, whenever a General Secretary
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the title given to the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. With some exceptions, the office was synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union...

 of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

 passed away, the event would first be officially acknowledged by Soviet radio and television. After several days of national mourning, the deceased would be given a state funeral and then buried. Soviet state funerals were often attended by foreign heads of state, heads of government, foreign ministers and other dignitaries from abroad. Following the death of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

 in 1982, there were five days of national mourning. Following the death of General Secretary Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov
Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was a Soviet politician and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 12 November 1982 until his death fifteen months later.-Early life:...

 in 1984, a four-day period of nationwide mourning was announced.

The state funeral for a deceased General Secretary would be arranged, managed and prepared by a special committee of the Communist Party that would be formed for the occasion. As the funeral committee would normally be chaired by the deceased's successor, the preparations for Soviet state funerals were usually followed with great interest by foreign political scientists trying to gauge power shuffles within the Communist Party. The allocation of responsibilities during the funeral, appointment of pallbearers and positions within the order of precedence
Order of precedence
An order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of items. Most often it is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments...

 observed during the televised funeral ceremonies in Moscow could often be interpreted as a clue for the future position of Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

 members within the Party. When, after Brezhnev's death in 1982, Yuri Andropov was elected chairman of the committee in charge of Brezhnev's funeral, this was seen as a first sign by First World
First World
The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a...

 commentators that Andropov might be the most likely candidate for the position of General Secretary.

Prior to interment, the body of the deceased General Secretary would lie in state in the Column Hall of the House of the Unions
House of the Unions
The House of the Unions or called "Palace of Unions" is the historical building in Moscow, Russia. It is situated on the corner of Bolshyaya Dmitrovka and Okhotny Ryad streets.-Origins:...

 which was decorated by numerous red flag
Red flag
In politics, a red flag is a symbol of Socialism, or Communism, or sometimes left-wing politics in general. It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its...

s and other communist symbols
Communist symbolism
Communist symbolism consists of a series of symbols that represent a variety of themes associated with communism. These themes may include revolution, the proletariat, the peasantry, agriculture, or international solidarity...

. The mourners, which usually would be brought in by the thousands, shuffled up a marble staircase beneath chandeliers draped in black gauze. On the stage at the left side of the Column Hall, amid a veritable garden of flowers, a full orchestra in black tailcoats would play classical music. The deceased's embalmed body, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a tie, would be displayed in an open coffin on a catafalque
Catafalque
A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

 banked with carnations, red roses and tulips, facing the long queue of mourners. A small guard of honour
Guard of honour
A guard of honour is a ceremonial event practice in military and sports as a mark of respect.-Military:In the military a guard of honour is a ceremonial practice to honour visiting foreign dignitaries, or the fallen in war, or a ceremony for public figures who have died.The commander is three paces...

 would be in attendance in the background. At the right side of the hall there would be placed seats for guests of honour, with the front row reserved for the dead leader's family.

On the day of the funeral, final ceremonies would be held at the Column Hall during which the lid of the coffin would be temporarily closed. The coffin would then be carried out of the House of the Unions and placed on a gun carriage drawn by a military vehicle. A funeral parade would then convey the coffin from the House of the Unions to the Red Square. Two officers led the funeral parade, carrying a large portrait of the deceased, followed by a group of numerous soldiers carrying red floral wreaths. A group of general officers would come next, carrying the late leader's decorations and medals on small red cushions. Behind them, the coffin rested atop a gun carriage. Walking immediately behind were the members of the deceased's family. The Politburo leaders, wearing red armbands, came next and led the last group of official mourners. At Brezhnev's funeral, the escort of official mourners included forty-four persons.

As the coffin reached the middle of the Red Square, it would be removed from the carriage and placed on a red-draped bier
Bier
A bier is a stand on which a corpse, coffin or casket containing a corpse, is placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave.In Christian burial, the bier is often placed in the centre of the nave with candles surrounding it, and remains in place during the funeral.The bier is a flat frame,...

 facing the Lenin Mausoleum, with its lid removed. After a series of funeral speeches, which were delivered by military and political leaders (typically including the deceased's successor as General Secretary, as well as 'ordinary' workers) from the balcony of the Lenin Mausoleum, the coffin would be carried in a procession around the mausoleum to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930...

 just behind it. There, with the most senior mourners looking on, the coffin would be placed on a red-draped bier and the mourners would pay last respects. The coffin's lid would then be closed for the final time and the body lowered into the ground by two men, with handfuls of earth thrown onto the coffin by the senior mourners. The grave would be filled in immediately afterward, while the mourners were still present to watch. Gun salutes would be fired, siren
Siren
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous mermaid like creatures, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli...

s sounded around the Kremlin
Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

 and the Soviet national anthem
National Anthem of the Soviet Union
The National Anthem of the Soviet Union or the State Anthem of the USSR was introduced during World War II on March 15, 1944, replacing The Internationale as the official national anthem of the Soviet Union as well as the national anthem of the Russian SFSR...

 be played. This marked the end of the interment. The senior mourners would then return to the balcony of the Lenin Mausoleum to review a parade on Red Square while the military band
Military band
A military band originally was a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the title of Bandmaster or Director of Music...

 would play quick marches. This concluded the state funeral.

With little deviations, the described protocol was roughly the same for the state funerals of Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov
Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was a Soviet politician and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 12 November 1982 until his death fifteen months later.-Early life:...

 and Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

. Lenin and Stalin were placed inside the Lenin Mausoleum while the others were interred in individual graves in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930...

 located behind the mausoleum along the actual Kremlin wall
Kremlin Wall
The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its Kremlin towers. The original walls were likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers built in 1156.-History:...

. Stalin's body would lie beside Lenin's in the mausoleum until being moved to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis several years after his death.

United Kingdom

A state funeral consists of a military procession where the coffin is borne on a gun carriage from the private resting chapel to Westminster Hall. In a state funeral the gun carriage is pulled by members of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. In a royal ceremonial funeral, the gun carriage is pulled by horses. The body usually lies in state in Westminster Hall for three days. This is then followed by a funeral service at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 or St. Paul's Cathedral. Many of the features of a state funeral are shared by other types of funerals—a royal ceremonial funeral (for example, that of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

 and Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

) often has a lying in state
Lying in state
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

 and Westminster Abbey service. The real distinction between a state funeral and a ceremonial funeral is that a state funeral requires a motion or vote in Parliament. The honour of a state funeral is usually reserved for the sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

 as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and the current or past consort
Consort
Consort may refer to:Titles:* Queen consort, wife of a reigning king* Prince consort, husband of a reigning queen* King consort, rarely used alternative title for husband of a reigning queen...

.

The most recent state funeral for a person outside of the Royal Family was that of The Rt Hon. Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, KG
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

 OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

 CH
Order of the Companions of Honour
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion....

in 1965.

Canada

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, state funerals are public events held to commemorate the memory of present and former governors general
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

, present and former prime ministers
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

, sitting members of the Ministry (the Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

) and other prominent Canadians at the discretion of the Prime Ministerhttp://news.nationalpost.com/2011/08/22/change-the-world-layton-says-in-final-letter/. With ceremonial, military, and religious elements incorporated, state funerals are offered and executed by the Government of Canada
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

 which provides a dignified manner for the Canadian people to mourn a national public figure.

In 2006, the House of Commons voted unanimously, on a motion introduced by the NDP, to hold a state funeral when the last Canadian veteran of the First World War diedhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/11/21/state-funeral.html. However, John Babcock
John Babcock
John Henry Foster "Jack" Babcock was, at age 109, the last known surviving veteran of the Canadian military to have served in the First World War and, after the death of Harry Patch, was the conflict's oldest surviving veteran...

, after becoming the last surviving veteran, stated that he did not feel the need to be honoured in such a way.

In August 2011, in a rare circumstance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 offered a state funeral for his political adversary and Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition
The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government...

, Jack Layton
Jack Layton
John Gilbert "Jack" Layton, PC was a Canadian social democratic politician and the Leader of the Official Opposition. He was the leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011, and previously sat on Toronto City Council, serving at times during that period as acting mayor and deputy mayor of...

. Layton died of cancer only three months after his New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

 became the official opposition, for the first time in his party's history.

United States

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, state funerals are held in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and involve military spectacle, ceremonial pomp, and religious observance. As the highest possible honor bestowed upon a person posthumously, state funerals are an entitlement offered to a sitting or ex-President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, a President-elect
President-elect of the United States
President-elect of the United States is the title used for an incoming President of the United States in the period between the general election on Election Day in November and noon eastern standard time on Inauguration Day, January 20, during which he is not in office yet...

, as well as other people designated by the President. Administered by the Military District of Washington (MDW), state funerals are greatly influenced by protocol
Protocol (diplomacy)
In international politics, protocol is the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state.A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines...

, steeped in tradition, and rich in history. However, the overall planning as well as the decision to hold a state funeral, is largely determined by the President before his death and the First Family
First Family of the United States
The First Family of the United States is the unofficial title for the family of the President of the United States, who is both head of state and head of government of the United States. Members of the First Family consist of the President, the First Lady of the United States, and any of their...

.

State funerals have been held in Washington D.C. for William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

 (1841), Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

 (1850), Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 (1865), Thaddeus Stevens
Thaddeus Stevens
Thaddeus Stevens , of Pennsylvania, was a Republican leader and one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives...

 (1868), James A. Garfield (1881), William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 (1901), Warren Harding (1920), the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknowns
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in the United States...

 of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 (1921), William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

 (1930), John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

 (1948), the Unknown Soldiers
Tomb of the Unknowns
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in the United States...

 of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 (1958), John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 (1963), Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 (1964), Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 (1964), Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 (1969), Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 (1973), Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 (2004), and Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

 (2006-2007).

Argentina

Juan Perón
Juan Perón
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer, and politician. Perón was three times elected as President of Argentina though he only managed to serve one full term, after serving in several government positions, including the Secretary of Labor and the Vice Presidency...

, Eva Perón
Eva Perón
María Eva Duarte de Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is often referred to as simply Eva Perón, or by the affectionate Spanish language diminutive Evita.She was born in the village of Los Toldos in...

, Raul Alfonsín
Raúl Alfonsín
Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín was an Argentine lawyer, politician and statesman, who served as the President of Argentina from December 10, 1983, to July 8, 1989. Alfonsín was the first democratically-elected president of Argentina following the military government known as the National Reorganization...

 and Néstor Kirchner
Néstor Kirchner
Néstor Carlos Kirchner was an Argentine politician who served as the 54th President of Argentina from 25 May 2003 until 10 December 2007. Previously, he was Governor of Santa Cruz Province since 10 December 1991. He briefly served as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations ...

 have all had state funerals.

Brazil

In the 80s, to President-elect Tancredo Neves
Tancredo Neves
Tancredo de Almeida Neves, SFO more commonly Tancredo Neves was a Brazilian politician. He was born in São João del Rey, in the state of Minas Gerais, of mostly Portuguese, but also Austrian descent and graduated in law. The Neves family name comes from an Azorean great great grandfather...

, who died one day before his inauguration. In 1994, for the Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna da Silva was a Brazilian racing driver. A three-time Formula One world champion, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time...

 FDE—the powers granted Congress the former head of state (Senna died during a race in the Italian town of Imola) and in 2010 for Vice President Jose Alencar of Lula, who beyond the position of vice could move the Brazilian people with his fight against cancer.

New Zealand

Traditionally, state funerals are reserved for all former Governors-General
Governor-General of New Zealand
The Governor-General of New Zealand is the representative of the monarch of New Zealand . The Governor-General acts as the Queen's vice-regal representative in New Zealand and is often viewed as the de facto head of state....

, as well as Prime Ministers
Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealand's head of government consequent on being the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand...

 who die in office. Others to receive state funerals include Sir Frederic Truby King
Truby King
thumb|Sir Frederic Truby KingSir Frederic Truby King CMG , generally known as Truby King, was a New Zealand health reformer and Director of Child Welfare. He is best known as the founder of the Plunket Society....

 (1937) who founded the Plunket Society
Plunket Society
The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society is an incorporated society in New Zealand which provides a range of health services to healthy babies and young children...

, the unidentified victims of the Tangiwai rail disaster (1953), Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 recipient Jack Hinton
Jack Hinton
John Daniel 'Jack' Hinton VC was a New Zealander, a World War II soldier in 2NZEF who was awarded the Victoria Cross for leading an assault in Greece in 1941. The Victoria Cross, is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and...

 (1997) and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary
Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE , was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest – see Timeline of climbing Mount Everest...

 (2008). and the tomb of Unknown Warrior to represent all soldiers who represented and sacrificed NZ in all wars. The offer of a state funeral was refused by the family of former Prime Minister David Lange
David Lange
David Russell Lange, ONZ, CH , served as the 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989. He headed New Zealand's fourth Labour Government, one of the most reforming administrations in his country's history, but one which did not always conform to traditional expectations of a...

.

Australia

In Australia, state funerals are increasingly offered to persons of general celebrity, such as Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin
Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin , nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian television personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted...

 (whose family declined the honour).

New South Wales

State funerals held in NSW are subject to a policy operated since 1966. Politicians (both current and former) and people holding positions such as Governor and Chief Justice automatically qualify for a state funeral, however the Premier of the State of NSW can offer such a service for those determined to be distinguished citizens of NSW. For example, football (soccer) legend Johnny Warren
Johnny Warren
John Norman Warren, MBE, OAM was an Australian football player, coach, administrator, writer and broadcaster. He was known as Captain Socceroo for his passionate work to promote the game in Australia...

 was given a state funeral in NSW. Where the family of the deceased does not wish to have a state funeral, the offer of a state memorial service will be considered.

In June 1951, a state funeral was held in Bathurst, NSW for former prime minister Ben Chifley
Ben Chifley
Joseph Benedict Chifley , Australian politician, was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. He took over the Australian Labor Party leadership and Prime Ministership after the death of John Curtin in 1945, and went on to retain government at the 1946 election, before being defeated at the 1949...

.

On 27 November 2007, Bernie Banton
Bernie Banton
Bernard Douglas Banton AM was an Australian social justice campaigner. He was the widely-recognised face of the legal and political campaign to achieve compensation for the many sufferers of asbestos-related conditions, which they contracted after working for the company James Hardie.Banton...

, a campaigner for asbestos victims who worked for James Hardie
James Hardie
James Hardie Industries Ltd. is an industrial building materials company headquartered in Ireland and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange which specialises in fibre cement products. James Hardie manufactures and develops technologies, materials and processes for the production of building...

, lost his battle with mesothelioma, an asbestos
Asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

-related disease. His family was offered a state funeral by NSW Premier Morris Iemma
Morris Iemma
Morris Iemma , is a former Australian politician and 40th Premier of New South Wales, succeeding Bob Carr after he resigned on 3 August 2005. Iemma led the Australian Labor Party to victory in the 2007 election before resigning as Premier on 5 September 2008, and as a Member of Parliament on 19...

.

Queensland

A state funeral was offered for Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin
Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin , nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian television personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted...

 in September 2006, but the offer was declined. A state funeral occurred for Joh Bjelke-Petersen
Joh Bjelke-Petersen
Sir Johannes "Joh" Bjelke-Petersen, KCMG , was an Australian politician. He was the longest-serving and longest-lived Premier of Queensland, holding office from 1968 to 1987, a period that saw considerable economic development in the state...

.

Victoria

A state funeral was held in September 2006 for race-car driver Peter Brock
Peter Brock
Peter Geoffrey Brock, AM otherwise known as "Peter Perfect", "The King of the Mountain" or simply as "Brocky" was one of Australia's best-known and most successful motor racing drivers. Brock was most often associated with Holden for almost 40 years, although he raced vehicles of other...

. In 2009, a state funeral was held to honour the actor Charles 'Bud' Tingwell.

Western Australia

A state funeral was held in Perth for former prime minister John Curtin
John Curtin
John Joseph Curtin , Australian politician, served as the 14th Prime Minister of Australia. Labor under Curtin formed a minority government in 1941 after the crossbench consisting of two independent MPs crossed the floor in the House of Representatives, bringing down the Coalition minority...

 in July 1945.

See also

  • Abraham Lincoln's burial and exhumation
    Abraham Lincoln's burial and exhumation
    Following his death by assassination, the body of Abraham Lincoln was borne from Washington, D.C. to its final resting place in Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Illinois, by funeral train, accompanied by dignitaries and Lincoln's eldest son Robert Todd....

  • "Black Jack"
  • Burial at Sea
    Burial at sea
    Burial at sea describes the procedure of disposing of human remains in the ocean, normally from a ship or boat. It is regularly performed by navies, but also can be done by private citizens in many countries.-By religion:...

  • Catafalque
    Catafalque
    A catafalque is a raised bier, soapbox, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. Following a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, a catafalque may be used to stand in place of the body at the Absolution of...

  • Death and funeral of Corazon Aquino
    Death and funeral of Corazon Aquino
    The 11th President of the Philippines, Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, died on August 1, 2009 at the Makati Medical Center in Makati City, after having suffered from colorectal cancer for over a year. Her official cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest...

  • Death and funeral of Leonid Brezhnev
    Death and funeral of Leonid Brezhnev
    On 10 November 1982, Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the third General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the fifth leader of the Soviet Union, died a 75 year-old man after suffering a heart attack following years of serious ailments. His death was officially acknowledged on 11...

  • Death and funeral of Richard Nixon
    Death and funeral of Richard Nixon
    On April 22, 1994, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, died after suffering a stroke four days earlier. His public funeral followed five days later at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in his hometown of Yorba Linda, California...

  • Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford
    Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford
    On December 26, 2006, Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, at 6:45 p.m. local time . At 8:49 p.m...

  • Death and state funeral of Lech Kaczyński and Maria Kaczyńska
    Death and state funeral of Lech Kaczyński and Maria Kaczyńska
    Lech Kaczyński, the fourth President of the Republic of Poland, died on 10 April 2010, after a Polish Air Force Tu-154 crashed outside of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 aboard...

  • Death and state funeral of Néstor Kirchner
    Death and state funeral of Néstor Kirchner
    Argentina's former President and Secretary General of UNASUR, Néstor Kirchner, died of heart failure on the morning of 27 October 2010 at the Jose Formenti hospital in El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province at the age of 60. At 9:15, first aid procedures that were used to keep him alive proved...

  • Death and state funeral of Omar Bongo
    Death and state funeral of Omar Bongo
    The second President of Gabon, Omar Bongo, died in Spain on June 8, 2009, after having suffered from colorectal cancer. A month of mourning and state funeral, spanning June 11 to 18th, followed....

  • Death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau
    Death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau
    The death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau took place in September 2000. Pierre Trudeau was the 15th prime minister of Canada, serving from 1968 to 1984, with a brief interruption in 1979–1980. Trudeau died on September 28, 2000...

  • Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
    Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
    On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. His seven-day state funeral followed, spanning June 5–11...

  • Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales
    Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales
    The public funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales started on September 6, 1997 at 9:08 am in London, when the tenor bell sounded to signal the departure of the cortege from Kensington Palace. The coffin was carried from the palace on a gun carriage, along Hyde Park to St. James' Palace, where...

  • Funeral of Edward VII
    Funeral of Edward VII
    The Funeral of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom occurred on Friday, 20 May 1910. It was one of the largest gatherings of European royalty ever to take place, and one of the last before World War I ended the era of European royalty....

  • Funeral of Pope John Paul II
    Funeral of Pope John Paul II
    The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe nine days of mourning....

  • Funeral train
    Funeral train
    A funeral train is a train specially chartered in order to carry a coffin or coffins to a resting place. Funeral trains today are often reserved for leaders and national heroes, as part of a state funeral, but in the past were sometimes the chief means of transporting coffins and mourners to...

  • Limbers and caissons
  • Lincoln Catafalque
    Lincoln catafalque
    The Lincoln catafalque is a catafalque hastily constructed in 1865 to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln while the president's body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. The catafalque has since been used for all those who have lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda, as listed...

  • Lying in repose
    Lying in repose
    Lying in repose is a term used to describe when a deceased person, often of some stature, is available for public viewing. "Lying in repose" is different from the formal honor of "lying in state", which is generally held at the principal government building of the country and often accompanied by...

  • Lying in state
    Lying in state
    Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...

  • Military funeral
    Military funeral
    A military funeral is a specially orchestrated funeral given by a country's military for a soldier, sailor, marine or airman who died in battle, a veteran, or other prominent military figures or heads of state. A military funeral may feature guards of honor, the firing of volley shots as a salute,...

  • Missing man formation
    Missing man formation
    The missing man formation is an aerial salute performed as part of a flyover of aircraft at a funeral or memorial event, typically in memory of a fallen pilot. The missing man formation is often called "the missing man flyby"...

  • Riderless horse
    Riderless horse
    A riderless horse or caparisoned horse is a single horse, without a rider, and with boots reversed in the stirrups, which sometimes accompanies a funeral procession...

  • State funeral of John F. Kennedy
    State funeral of John F. Kennedy
    The state funeral of John F. Kennedy took place in Washington, DC during the three days that followed his assassination on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas....

  • State funerals in Canada
    State funerals in Canada
    State funerals in Canada are public events held to commemorate former governors general, prime ministers, members of the Cabinet who died in office, and, at the Cabinet's discretion, other eminent Canadians...

  • State funerals in the United States
    State funerals in the United States
    State funerals in the United States are public funerals held in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. that are offered to a sitting or ex-President of the United States, a President-elect, as well as other people designated by the President...

  • Vigil of the Princes
    Vigil of the Princes
    The Vigil of the Princes is the unofficial name given to two occasions when male members of the British Royal Family have stood guard during the lying in state of one of their relatives during a British State Funeral.-King George V:...


External links

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