Old habits die hard, but Liz shows for funeral early out of respect!
If you channel-surfed last night, the pickings were slim - especially when it came to coverage of the funeral service for Michael Jackson - who was finally laid to rest in a sumptuous Forest Lawn setting fit for an Egyptian Pharaoh in Glendale (CA).
Only a handful of media outlets were permitted near the outer perimeter of the gravesite - in what one guest referred to as a "serene" service - so there was a lot of straining going on on the frenzied sidelines as the paparazzi scrambled to capture coveted images expected to zip around the globe at the close of the solemn occasion.
Elizabeth Taylor - famously-known for arriving fashionably-late for high-profile events over the years - surprised the media when her limo purred up an hour-and-a-half before the proceedings were to commence.
In fact, all the key players - Jackson's parents, Michael's children - showed up on schedule.
In contrast, the hangers-on (who cruised through the gates in expensive limos sporting ubiquitous black suits and spritely-colored red ties) were late - thus stalling the ceremony - about ninety minutes or so.
The lucky persistent few - who scanned the airwaves like moi Thursday eve in search of a poignant moment or two - undoubtedly caught the intimate close-up shots of the family seated on white folding-chairs just prior to the commencement of the pricey service.
The humble seating arrangement was in stark contrast to the opulence all around.
Guests included child star Macaulay Culkin, athlete Barry Bonds, Director Kenny Ortega, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Marlon Brando's son Niko.
A no-show by Diana Ross allegedly caused a few tongues to wag.
A memorable Gladys Knight performance also inspired a heartfelt message on twitter.
"She sang her little heart out", Reverend Sharp enthused in a tweet later on after the guests paid their last respects and headed homeward bound (unless they attended the swank after-party, of course, where a close-knit inner circle of friends and family were expected to celebrate Michael's life).
At the gates, meanwile, die-hard fans chanted:
"Michael! Michae! Michael!".
Earlier in the day, Police reported that a handful of overjealous music-lovers attempted to jump the fence to get an up-close gander at the King of Pop's burial site.
According to a representative of a Glendale Law Enforcement Agency, the individuals were ejected without incident.
A blimp-like inflated light affixed alongside a boom camera (strategically-placed in front of the expensive marble mausoleum) caused a bit of speculation amoung the mourners and media alike.
Some hinted that the footage was being captured for inclusion in the upcoming Michael Jackson documentary "This is it".
Jackson now rests in peace amidst the likes of such luminaries as Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and funnyman W.C. Fields.
But, Forest Lawn Officials were quick to point out that after the burial, Jackson's vault will remain off-limits.
A portion of a mausoleum that displays "The Last Supper Window" is the closest they'll ever get to the Pop Icon's last resting place apparently.
Interested parties may attend one of several ten-minute presentations held at that site regularly every day of the year.
Good night, sweet Prince!
Entourage in sleek black limos arrives late!\/span> span="">/> span="">/>>/> span="">/>>/>>/>>/>