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A mother's anguish - Jackson funeral

Micheal Jackson's mother was today overcome with grief as she attended the singer's low-key funeral in Los Angeles.

One mourner, who asked not to be named, said Katherine Jackson appeared extremely weary and had to be helped to her car afterwards.

As Jackson's brothers carried his golden coffin from an outdoor seating area into the mausoleum, Mrs Jackson had to turn back.

Inside the great marble building at Forest Lawn, Glendale, Gladys Knight's singing of a hymn moved many to tears.

Jackson's coffin, draped in flowers and with a crown perched on top, had not been put into the vault by the time mourners left.

He joins a long list of famous Americans who have been laid to rest in a Forest Lawn cemetery over the last century.

The private cemeteries, described as “memorial parks and mortuaries”, are located on 10 sites in California.

Set in vast, landscaped grounds with gardens, sculptures, churches and fountains, Forest Lawn offers a range of funeral packages costing up to £7,880.

While the company is secretive about celebrities who are buried there, visitors have passed on their knowledge about where to find them via the internet.

Stars including Bette Davis, Lucille Ball and Stan Laurel are said to be in the Hollywood Hills |memorial park – the venue for Jackson's private funeral.

The graves of Hollywood actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Clark Gable are reported to be found in Forest Lawn's Glendale cemetery, which opened in 1906.

Although some graves can be spotted on a trip through the large parks, others - such as Bogart's - are contained in locked gardens that are closed to the public.

Jackson's final resting place in Los Angeles is billed on the Forest Lawn website as offering “an idyllic landscape that proudly showcases our unique collection of American architecture and artworks that honour our country”.

Belfast Telegraph