How far will a person go for their dying wishes?

What is significant in one person’s life may not be so important for another – as is made clear when looking into unusual wills and funeral requests.

With a number of great losses this year within the entertainment industry, including Prince and more recently Caroline Aherne just last month, we looked into the array of special requests and funeral affairs made historically, from some of the world’s most well known figures.

1616 William Shakespeare’s dying wishes were recently put on display in Stratford, and he is one of many who had strange and widely publicised plans on death. The only mention Shakespeare made of his wife, Anne Hathaway, is that she must receive his second best bed – the whereabouts of his “best bed” are unknown.

1821 It is usually money or property that is left within a person’s will – but not for French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. He reportedly asked for his hair to be cut and distributed to his close friends.

1926 Unsurprisingly, after the death of magician, Harry Houdini, his wife was given a secret code found in his will, which she was to use for contacting him from the afterlife. The magic failed to succeed despite her best efforts every Halloween.

1998 For Frank Sinatra’s funeral, he was given a variety of gifts within his casket, including a lighter, bottle of whisky and a coin – which is said to have been provided in jest, in case he needed to make a phone call.

1999 British-born singer, Dusty Springfield regarded her cat highly and is said to have asked for him to be fed only imported baby food and to listen to her songs frequently. The cat, named Nicholas, was to also marry his new owner’s cat, at Dusty’s request.

2006 In keeping with his many costume changes during his shows, James Brown had his outfit swapped during each of the three funerals that were held in various locations across America.

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