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Derek Draper’s devastated children share their love for him at his star-studded funeral

Derek Draper’s children told him they loved him at his funeral credit:Bang Showbiz
Derek Draper’s children told him they loved him at his funeral credit:Bang Showbiz

Derek Draper’s children told him they loved him at his packed, star-studded funeral.

The late political strategist, who died on 3 January aged 56 after suffering long-lasting symptoms from coronavirus, was honoured with a final farewell in north London on Friday (02.02.24) attended by his TV host wife Kate Garraway, 56, and their children Darcey, 17, and 14-year-old Billy, as well as ITV hosts and Sir Elton John.

Among the flowers laid out for the funeral procession around the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Primrose Hill was a wreath bearing the word ‘Dad’.

Alongside the arrangement were two handwritten cards from Derek’s kids, with his daughter Darcey’s saying: “I love you with all my heart.”

His son William said on his note: “I love you Dad. Your son, Bill.”

Kate’s daughter Darcey also joined five other pallbearers to carry her dad’s coffin out of church following the morning service, while her ITV host mum looked on.

Kate was seen holding hands with her son William as the pair led mourners out of the packed church, and also held candles lit during the service.

Derek’s funeral was held at the church where he married Kate nearly two decades ago.

Kate, who tied the knot with Derek in September 2005, wore a long black cloak as she arrived for his funeral, and was supported by her ITV co-stars Susanna Reid, 53, and 49-year-old Ben Shephard.

Singer Sir Elton, 76, who became a close friend of Kate and Derek’s, was also at the goodbye.

Derek fell gravely ill during the early part of the Covid pandemic in March 2020 and spent 13 months in hospital before he was discharged.

When he moved home Kate moved his bedroom downstairs and has spoken about how she had to give him 24/7 care as he battled to recover from the devastating effects of the virus.

Kate often provided health updates about her husband on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ show that she fronted as he battled illness, and hosted two documentaries on the channel about how her family’s life had been altered following her husband’s illness.

Derek was a leading figure in New Labour in the 1990, and had been admitted to hospital in December when he had a heart attack.

Kate announced her husband’s death on Instagram in a post that said: “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.

“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.”