State funerals

Very few people other than ruling monarchs are accorded state funerals.

Other nineteenth-century figures, besides Nelson, to have state funerals include the great statesmen and prime ministers, Viscount Palmerston and William Ewart Gladstone. The family of Benjamin Disraeli, however, refused a state funeral for him.

Perhaps the most magnificent state funeral during Queen Victoria's reign was that of Arthur Wellesley,Duke of Wellington. Just as Nelson was the hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, Wellington was the hero of the Battle of Waterloo, commanding the forces that defeated Napoleon. Unlike Nelson, Wellington was also a politician. He was the Prime Minister from 1828 to 1840. He died in 1852.

A very different figure from these political and military figures was the leader of fashion Richard 'Beau' Nash. But it seems that he, too, had a state funeral.

If your library has internet access to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, you might try searching for 'state funeral' to see how many other people have had state funerals.

Return to Trafalgar index page