In the article, we will explore Opulence and Tradition regarding funeral services. Plenty of lavish, expensive funerals have been throughout history to commemorate royalty, famous people, and politicians. Beginning with the Egyptian pyramids, which were built as burial tombs for pharaohs, and continuing through the extravagant final events of modern-day superstars, such as Michael Jackson’s $1 million funeral in 2009, let’s take a closer look at some of the most costly funerals in history. Funeral Services are essential.


First, let’s look at ancient funerals – they define as excessive. When money is of no concern, and the fabric of society is designed to honor the dead and perhaps help them in the afterlife – humans can create some impressive monuments.


It’s no secret that the Egyptian kings knew how to be honored after death. The Great Pyramid was the pharaoh’s tomb and was likely constructed around 3,200 B.C. Reaching 480 feet tall and made using 2.3 million stone blocks averaging 2.5 tons, the Great Pyramid is a fantastic place for a king to be interred.

Legend has it that Khufu, the pharaoh, issued an order to construct the pyramid as his burial tomb. However, explorers still need to find his mummy or his gold treasure within it. Experts estimate that the pyramid’s construction today would incur a staggering cost of $5 billion.

Ancient Egypt Expensive funerals


If Alexander the Great’s funeral occurred today, it’s estimated to be a costly funeral at an impressive $600 million. The Macedonian king passed away in 323 BC. He was placed in a solid gold casket inside a gold carriage for the horse-drawn journey—the trip from Babylon to Macedonia along a road explicitly built for this long funeral procession. According to historical accounts, his remains were laid to rest in Alexandria, Egypt, within a grand mausoleum known as the Soma. The Soma was said to be an awe-inspiring structure, befitting the legacy of the great conqueror. However, scholars have not conclusively identified the exact location of this tomb, and they continue to debate its existence.


Built-in the mid-17th century as a mausoleum, the Taj Mahal represents another example of an extravagant memorial. In 1632, the emperor of the Mughals (present-day India) decided to build the Taj Mahal in honor of his third wife, who died the previous year during the birth of their 14th child. The elaborate construction took over 20 years at $1 million, likely exceeding $1 billion today.


Extravagant Caskets and Final Resting Places

One of the hallmarks of very modern expensive funerals is the emphasis placed on the final resting place. Instead of traditional coffins, families choose extravagant caskets made from rare woods, adorned with intricate designs, or even encrusted with precious gems. Some even go a step further, opting for non-traditional burial methods. Perhaps such as eco-friendly biodegradable pods or unique memorial structures that serve as a lasting testament to the deceased.

Opulent Funeral Venues and Decor

Gone are the days when funerals were limited to somber chapels and reception halls. Modern expensive funerals often occur in unconventional venues, such as luxury resorts, historical landmarks, or even private estates. These locations provide a grand backdrop for mourners to bid farewell in style. Elaborate floral arrangements, artistic installations, and carefully curated décor enhance the ambiance, creating a truly unforgettable experience.

Celebrity-Style Processions and Performances

Very modern expensive funerals take cues from celebrity culture, incorporating grand processions and live performances to celebrate the departed’s life. As they follow the march to the ultimate burial site, mourners might see a parade of opulent cars, horse-drawn carriages, or even helicopters. Musical performances, including renowned artists or choirs, are standard. They add a touch of grandeur and emotional resonance to the proceedings and can create a costly funeral.

Technological Innovations and Multimedia Tributes

As technology advances, expensive modern funerals embrace multimedia elements to create immersive and interactive experiences. Video presentations, virtual reality displays, and holographic projections allow mourners to relive cherished memories and pay tribute to the departed uniquely. Such innovations personalize the funeral experience and offer a lasting legacy for future generations.

Modern funerals

Modern funerals are considerably less expensive than what happened in days of old, but compared to your average person’s funeral, they can still be pretty over the top.


The 1963 assassination of President Kennedy stunned the country. It caused a four-day countrywide mourning stretching from the Friday of his assassination until his burial the following Monday. Television stations ran footage and news of Kennedy’s assassination and funeral non-stop for the entire weekend. The funeral is thought to have cost $4 million. However, the overall cost, including the amount of money the television stations lost in ad revenue, was over $40 million.

President John Kennedy


Very few funerals receive the number of spectators as Princess Diana’s televised ceremony in 1997. Watched by 2.5 billion people, the beloved former member of British royalty’s funeral began with a four-mile-long procession. It stretched from Westminster Abbey to Kensington Palace. It’s estimated that the funeral cost $8 million at the time.


Although still impressive for the average person, Michael Jackson’s funeral in 2009 surprisingly cost just $1 million. Most of the price ($590,000) went towards his final resting place in a marble crypt, but $25,000 was also spent on a bronze and gold-plated casket. The typically extravagant singer’s funeral was held in Los Angles at the Staples Center, broadcast on television, and featured an array of celebrities.

Expensive Funerals in Ancient and Modern Times – Conclusion

The concept of very modern expensive funerals represents a departure from traditional mourning practices, providing a platform for families to honor their loved ones in extravagant and personalized ways. By incorporating lavish elements, opulent venues, and innovative technologies, these modern funerals aim to celebrate life while offering mourners a sense of closure and remembrance. As societal norms continue to evolve, it is fascinating to witness how even the rituals surrounding death have transformed to reflect our ever-changing world.

Most costly funerals for the average person are significantly less expensive than the ones listed above. Funerals Your Way, by offering honest and transparent pricing, we can effectively manage costs for our families.

Funerals Your Way
Translate »

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Call Now Button