In 1995, Linda and Paul McCartney announced to the world that Linda had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Only three short years later, she passed away. But did any of the Beatles attend Linda McCartney’s funeral?
While John Lennon obviously was not at Linda McCartney’s funeral (having been murdered some 18 years previously), George Harrison and Ringo Starr were in attendance, in addition to longtime Beatles producer George Martin, often considered the fifth Beatle.
The reunion of the former bandmates made headlines the whole world over. It was the first time since the Beatles’ breakup in 1969 that the former Beatles bandmates had been seen together in public.
Linda Eastman was a controversial figure (she was previously married and had a child) when she entered the limelight as Paul McCartney’s love interest.
Some fans judged her to be at least partly responsible for the Fab Four’s breakup (together with Yoko Ono, wife of husband John Lennon). There was a collective eyebrow raised in doubt when she suddenly showed up playing the keyboard and singing alongside her husband in his new band Wings.
The public learned to appreciate her many talents – most notably as a photographer – and also as an animal rights activist and groundbreaking businesswoman. She single-handedly turned vegetarianism into a lucrative business with her vegetarian cookbooks and line of frozen meals.
But while Linda knew she had breast cancer, did she know she was dying?
I recently did an article about whether Linda McCartney herself knew if she was dying, which you can check out by clicking here. The answer really surprised me as did her last words.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Who attended Linda McCartney’s funeral?
Besides her husband Paul and their children, Heather, Mary, Stella, and James, Linda McCartney’s funeral was attended by about 700 mourners, including the other remaining Beatles, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Sting, Billy Joel, and David Gilmour.
And also noteworthy people like actress Joanna Lumley as well. The service was held at St. Martin in the Fields Church in Trafalgar Square in London.
Linda McCartney was much appreciated and well-loved by her extensive network of personal and professional friends.
While she was often ridiculed for her musical abilities, there was nothing but praise for her character. She was famously thoughtful and considerate of her friends, going out of her way to keep deep personal connections alive.
When she passed, she left many, many people to mourn her.
At the New York memorial service held in the United States shortly after her London funeral, another 400 mourners gathered to honor her life and legacy.
Other famous guests included:
- Ralph Lauren
- Alec Baldwin
- Chrissie Hynde
- Diane Sawyer
- Paul Simon
In an interview with fellow animal rights activist Chrissy Hynde, Sir Paul explained how he personally invited the helicopter pilots who had transported Linda to her treatments, whom they had become quite close to.
Her funeral and memorial service were studded with A-listers, but most of the guests were normal people, friends, and family.
I had hoped to find an official guest list for both events, but it seems that information remains private.
Paul & Linda McCartney with John Lennon & Yoko Ono. #ValentinesDay #Valentines pic.twitter.com/Mn4Wob8Yki
— Rock N Roll Pictures (@RockNRollPics) February 14, 2021
Did Yoko Ono attend Linda McCartney’s funeral?
Yoko Ono was not invited to the New York memorial for Linda or the official funeral in London. This despite being a longtime resident of New York City.
And neither was her young son Sean.
As I said above, shortly after her official funeral, the McCartney family organized a memorial service in New York for the many mourners on this side of the pond.
One would assume that if she didn’t go to the London funeral, she would have been invited to the NYC memorial, but no.
Paul McCartney’s people deny it, of course, but she certainly took it personally. She admitted through an assistant that she was sad about not being invited to the event.
Shortly after Linda’s death, Yoko Ono had sent a letter to Rolling Stone Magazine with her own sort of eulogy. In it, Yoko said,
“After John’s passing, Sean and I started to receive Linda’s beautiful calendar every year. We felt her warmth…” and later, “We communicated in deeds more than in words…”
When directly questioned about this snub by Chrissie Hynde in that same interview I previously mentioned, Paul explained the decision:
“… instead of inviting people who we maybe ought to have invited out of duty, we would stay true to Linda’s spirit and only invite her nearest and dearest friends. We kept it to real friends who we knew Linda loved.”
Ouch. That’s an honest explanation if I ever heard one.
Also notably absent were members of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and John Lennon’s son Julian Lennon from his first marriage to his wife Cynthia.
‘Abbey Road’, 1969
Photography Linda McCartney® pic.twitter.com/IHA4FRRatR
— Didier Golemanas (@DidierGolemanas) May 13, 2021
Did George Harrison go to Linda McCartney’s funeral?
George Harrison did attend Linda McCartney’s funeral along with the other former remaining Beatle, Ringo Starr.
George himself passed away just a few years later in 2001, leaving Paul and Ringo as the last ex-Beatle.
Paul and George had a fairly strained relationship that was a big part of the Beatles’ breakup. But despite the tensions between the two, by 1994, they were back in the studio together with Ringo Starr recording what came to be called the “Threetles” sessions.
Interestingly, Paul was the best man in George’s wedding to model Pattie Boyd, and George was supposed to be the witness at Paul and Linda’s low-key wedding on March 12, 1969.
Unfortunately, that very day, George got busted for drug possession and couldn’t make it.
The two men had a brotherly relationship that went way back to their school days. Of course, George Harrison was going to attend Linda’s funeral, despite being on slightly less than friendly terms towards the end.
Sir Paul McCartney ‘cried for a year’ following Linda McCartney’s death https://t.co/YfA8cc2jDz pic.twitter.com/0p4HtHFo7n
— MSN Singapore (@MSN_Singapore) July 6, 2019
How did Paul McCartney react to Linda McCartney’s death?
When Paul McCartney lost his wife, Linda McCartney, he was devastated. The couple had enjoyed a seeming fairytale-like marriage full of love, connection, and closeness. They famously never spent a night apart, except for that time Paul got arrested in Japan.
He accompanied her through her final breath.
After her death, he made his official announcement, saying, “The blessing was that the end came quickly and she didn’t suffer.”
Sir Paul also asked people who wanted to send flowers to instead donate to charities that support cancer research and animal welfare. He also suggested that people “go veggie” to honor his wife. He then promptly went into hiding to grieve in private.
After the very public funeral and memorial service, Sir Paul laid low.
At one point, Paul McCartney said:
“I cried for about a year, on and off. … I cried a lot. It was almost embarrassing except it seemed the only thing to do.”
#Beatle Paul McCartney & wife Nancy Shevell attend #SuperBowlLIV in Miami, Florida. 🏈 pic.twitter.com/Ep9rBG4Ubt
— JaiGuruDeva 🌳 (@JaiGuruDeva) February 2, 2020
Is Paul McCartney still with his third wife?
Paul McCartney is still happily married to his 3rd wife, Nancy Shevell, and they celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2021.
In that year of grief, Paul must have found some sense of closure in his devastating loss. It wasn’t long until he was ready to move on and try his hand again at the game of love.
His first attempt wasn’t what most people would call successful.
In early 2002 he made his first public appearance with a much younger Heather Mills, and they tied the knot two years later. Unfortunately, this go-around wasn’t wedded bliss, and the couple separated in 2006 before officially divorcing in early 2008.
Ms. Mills was quite the fiery woman, reportedly pouring a cup of water over Paul’s lawyer’s head during the divorce proceedings.
It’s been said that she was with him only for the money.
And if that’s the case, she did pretty well for herself. Paul McCartney was one of the wealthiest musicians in the world back then and continues to be so.
He still gets some nice royalties from his work with the Beatles.
I did an article about that, which you can read by clicking here. He also has solid income from his time with Wings, his solo recordings, and his inheritance from Linda’s incredibly successful vegetarian foods business.
Before the ink was dry on his divorce with wife #2, Sir Paul had started a relationship with a woman named Nancy Shevell, a first cousin of Barbara Walters – who took it upon herself to set them up.
This time it seemed to go a lot better for Sir Paul and his new Lady McCartney.
They were wed in late 2011 and are preparing to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Nancy is a complete non-celebrity.
She is a professional woman heading up her family’s business, the Shevell Group. She was also a member of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
She has a very notable hesitancy to step into the spotlight next to her world-famous husband.
When Linda McCartney passed away, there was not a person on the planet who could criticize her.
She was the pillar of her family, a dedicated wife and mother, a successful artist, and a very decent human being by all accounts.
When she died, whatever lingering tensions between Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were set aside as they joined together in grief.
And while no doubt John Lennon’s death from being shot by Mark David Chapman no doubt was in the back of their minds, it was truly a sight to see them together.
His late wife had been forgiven for supposedly breaking up the Beatles (Yoko is still rightly judged).
The Beatles attended Lady Linda’s funeral to support their old bandmate in his hardest moment and join the whole world in mourning a fine woman.
And the service began with Paul McCartney’s beautiful hit “Mull of Kintyre.” (one of my favorites).
Image by Carolyn Booth from Pixabay