Paul O'Grady funeral cortege travels through Aldington
Paul O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio looked emotional as he rode on the carriage drawn by two black horses with the couple’s dog Andre sat on his lap.
Nine limousines followed the carriage with a cortege including motorbikes behind them.
The cortege has arrived at St Rumwold’s Church in the Kent village of Bonnington for the funeral of the TV star, who died at the age of 67 earlier this month.
A horse-drawn carriage slowly made its way to the church where Reverend Canon Roger Martin welcomed family and friends.
Among those mourning Paul were comedian Julian Clary, actress Dame Sheila Hancock, the late Dame Barbara Windsor’s widower Scott Mitchell and EastEnders actor Scott Maslen.
The Salvation Army Band also played songs such as Tomorrow from the musical Annie, the production Paul was starring in at the time of his death.
Paul’s celebrity friends also joined the funeral procession including Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and comedian Alan Carr.
The duo joined the late TV star’s family and friends at St Rumwold’s Parish Church in the Kent village of Bonnington.
Comedian and TV presenter Jo Brand arrived with soap star Cheryl Fergison, followed by actress Linda Henry, who plays Shirley Carter in EastEnders.
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LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wore a purple shirt and black tie, while TV presenter Gaby Roslin sported an all-black ensemble as she entered the Grade I listed church.
Mourners lined the streets of nearby Aldington, the village where O’Grady lived for more than 20 years, to watch the procession and pay their respects.
A cortege of limousines and a coffin in a horse-drawn carriage travelled from his home to the church in the early afternoon.
Personal notes from his family, including his daughter, Sharyn Mousley, were left outside the church attached to wreaths of lilies, in an apparent nod to the star’s famous drag alter ego, Lily Savage.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home also paid tribute to Paul with a canine guard of honour at his funeral, describing the late entertainer as the “beating heart” of the charity.
Mourners arriving at the private service were greeted by a dog called Ernie, who had met the TV star and his friend, the Queen Consort, on a number of occasions.
Ahead of the funeral, Ali Taylor, head of canine behaviour at Battersea, shared: “Ernie met Paul two years ago when he was about five weeks old. He’s met him several times. We felt he should come along today.
“It’s going to be a tough day for everyone. We’re here to really honour Paul and everything he has done for everyone, all the different communities, and especially Battersea.
“We’ve been working with Paul for just over 11 years on Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs at Battersea. He was the beating heart of Battersea, we’ve lost a very good friend.”
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