Elizabeth Taylor Was Purposely Late to Her Own Funeral

The screen legend was laid to rest on Thursday -- but Taylor had left instructions that she arrive at least 15 minutes late

Friends and family paid their final respects to screen legend Elizabeth Taylor on Thursday afternoon. In an intimate service of about 50 people, those closest to Taylor said their goodbyes at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.

But the mourners had to wait awhile before honoring the icon, who died on March 23 at age 79. "The service was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. but at Miss Taylor's request started late," her publicist told UsMagazine.com. "Miss Taylor had left instructions that it was to begin at least 15 minutes later than publicly scheduled, with the announcement, 'She even wanted to be late for her own funeral.'"

The two-time Oscar winner was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last month for symptoms of congestive heart failure. She passed away early Wednesday morning.

"She was surrounded by her children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton," said her publicist, Sally Morrison.

"We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it," her son Michael Wilding added. "Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts."

In addition to her movie career, Taylor was also a stage star and a Tony nominee. Friday night, Broadway will pay its respects as the marquees go dark for one minute at 8 p.m. in her honor.

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