Nancy Reagan was laid to rest on Friday, March 11, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and celebrities and political dignitaries alike came out to pay their final respects to the former first lady who died from congestive heart failure at 94 years old on March 6.
Guests walked in to find their seats as “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz played. Among the approximately 1,000 people who came to the funeral included George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Katie Couric, Tina Sinatra, Diane Sawyer, Wayne Newton, John Stamos, Tom Selleck, Mr. T, Anjelica Huston, Bo Derek, Larry King and Melissa Rivers.
Four of the five living first ladies — Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter — sat front row during the ceremony, according to USA Today.
Longtime friend and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney read a touching love letter written for Nancy by her late husband and 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. The note was written in Christmas 1981, during their first year in the White House. Mulroney recited “Ronnie’s” sweet words aloud, detailing his adoration for his wife — which ended with Ronald's famous closing salutation for Nancy: “With all my love, Lucky me.”
The former president died in 2004 at age 93 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Later on in the ceremony, Nancy’s children Patti Davis and Ronald Prescott Reagan honored their mom with emotional speeches.
“It’s no secret that my mother and I had a challenging and at times contentious relationship. I tried her patience and she intimidated me,” Davis told the crowd before saying that she’s choosing to remember the moments of love shared with Nancy.
Ronald Prescott said that he and his sister have “now found ourselves orphaned,” but told mourners that despite the sadness over the loss of Nancy, his mother loved a good party and that the funeral should be a celebration of her life.
Reverend Stuart A. Kenworthy then gave a moving eulogy, before bagpipes led the crowd outside. Guests were invited to watch the interment of Nancy next to the love of her life, Ronald Reagan.
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