ourners gathered on Friday to say a final farewell to Dame Barbara Windsor.
The beloved actress, known for her work in the Carry On films and EastEnders, died in December at the age of 83. She had suffered from dementia.
Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Christopher Biggins and Paul O’Grady were among the mourners seen arriving for the 45-minute service on Friday afternoon. Dame Barbara’s EastEnders co-star, Ross Kemp, who played her on-screen son Grant Mitchell, was also there to pay his respects, as was Loose Women’s Jane Moore.
The funeral cortege arrived around 2pm, with a group of three cars carrying large floral tributes to Dame Barbara.
A red and white display spelling the words Babs, The Dame and Saucy was on show in the car bearing the actress’s coffin.
Some of the flowers on display were donated by the Alzheimer’s Society, following Dame Barbara’s diagnosis in 2014.
Scott Mitchell, who was married to Dame Barbara for 20 years, led the funeral procession.
Dame Barbara Windsor laid to rest in London
Mr Mitchell arrived at the crematorium in the first funeral car, ahead of a car containing his mother Rita Mitchell, who introduced the couple, and his sister Marsha and brother-in-law Laurence, who make up his Covid bubble.
Mr Mitchell said he wanted to share the order of service for his late wife’s funeral because Covid restrictions have limited the number of mourners who can attend.
He said: “As Covid has denied so many of Barbara’s family, friends and fans a chance to say farewell properly, I wanted to share the order of service to let people be a small part of it.
“My heart goes out to every family who have experienced the same restrictions at their loved ones funerals.”
He added: “I would again like to thank my family, friends, the media and the public for their incredible support and well wishes since Barbara’s passing.”
The service featured tributes from Kemp, Biggins and Dame Barbara’s former co-star Anna Karen.
The coffin was brought into the ceremony to Frank Sinatra’s On The Sunny Side Of The Street and mourners sang hymns Jerusalem and The Lord Is My Shepherd.
The order of service featured a collection of photos of Dame Barbara throughout her career and personal life, including on the set of EastEnders, with the Queen and on her Carry On films, as well as with her husband.
Dame Barbara’s recording of Sparrows Can’t Sing from her 1963 film of the same name was played as the recessional music.
The order of service finished with the famous topless photo of Dame Barbara from the film Carry On Camping, accompanied by her quote: “That picture will follow me to the end.”
Mitchell wrote below it: “Yep!!! Rest in peace my darling Bar, my love forever Scott xx.”
Dame Barbara and her husband have been widely praised for their work raising awareness of dementia after the actress went public with her diagnosis in 2018.
A JustGiving page set up as a tribute to Dame Barbara and in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK has raised more than £145,000, reaching more than £150,000 with Gift Aid, and people have the option of donating in lieu of flowers.
Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society chief executive, said: “We will be forever grateful to Dame Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell for sharing their dementia experience so bravely and publicly raising awareness of what it’s like to live through this devastating disease, for people with dementia and their carers.
“Both Dame Barbara and Scott were instrumental in putting social care on the map through supporting our Fix Dementia Care campaign and in raising vital funds for dementia research through Dementia Revolution – the most successful Virgin Money London Marathon charity partnership campaign ever.”
Original posted at www.standard.co.uk