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Kate Garraway's final farewell: Tony Blair and Elton John join tearful family and mourners at Derek Draper's funeral
2 February 2024, 14:45 | Updated: 2 February 2024, 14:47
Tony Blair and Elton John were among the mourners to join Kate Garraway and her devastated family as they said farewell to Derek Draper on Friday.
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Hundreds of mourners gathered to say goodbye to Mr Draper after he passed away on January 3.
Mr Draper fell ill at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and was in hospital for just over a year as he suffered long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus.
He was a political lobbyist-turned-psychologist and the husband of presenter Kate Garraway.
The 56-year-old entered the church and greeted guests ahead of Mr Draper being laid to rest, with family following behind.
She was seen clutching her son's hand and a candle as they left the service, which ended with a musical tribute from close friend Sir Elton John.
Kate said Sir Elton had been "so supportive" of the family since her husband fell ill.
Their daughter, Darcey, 17, helped carry Mr Draper's coffin to and from the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill - where the couple were married in 2005.
Mr Draper was a former researcher for Lord Peter Mandelson and was a key figure in the early years of New Labour in the 1990s.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer attended the service, along with former PM Tony Blair and his wife, shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband and ex-Number 10 director of communications Alastair Campbell.
Other presenters seen at the funeral included Charlotte Hawkins, Ben Shephard, Richard Madeley, Alex Beresford, Rob Rinder, Susanna Reid, Sean Fletcher and Richard Arnold.
Mr Draper was admitted to hospital in December after suffering a heart attack.
Kate announced her husband's death on Instagram, with a post saying: "I'm sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away.
"Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed.
"I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible."
She added: "As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications.
"Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support.
"Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life."