Fashion icon Jane Birkin’s friends and family pay tribute to her ‘elegant and natural beauty’ following her death at 76 as her daughters and stars including Vanessa Paradis lead mourners at her funeral: ‘We wanted to be you’
- The star’s family were joined by Brigitte Macron and Vanessa Paradis to mourn
- READ MORE: How a chance meeting with Jane Birkin created the ultimate IT bag
Brigitte Macron and Vanessa Paradis led mourners today as France’s fashion set arrived in Paris to pay tribute to the ‘elegance and beauty’ of Jane Birkin.
Joining the First Lady was the singer’s surviving daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg, 51, and Lou Doillon, 40, who cut sombre figures as they headed into the funeral.
Jane’s grandchildren Alice and Ben Attal, Marlowe Jack Tiger Mitchell, and Roman de Kermadec looked emotional as they walked into the Saint-Roch church in Paris, while Jane’s songs were blasted on speakers on the streets of the French capital with a crowd of hundreds gathering to mourn the star.
Jane died following a long battle with cancer. She was 76.
Singer Etienne Daho delivered a eulogy to the singer, noting how she would now reunite with former lover Serge Gainsbourg, her late daughter Kate Barry as well as her ‘parents, friends and dogs’.
Mr Daho added that many ‘wanted to be’ the singer, who is also famed for being the inspiration for the Hermes Birkin Bag, and praised her ‘macabre British humour’.
Meanwhile, Charlotte choked back tears as she said ‘now I am an orphan’ while Lou, who has a different father, thanked her mother for ‘never being ordinary’.
Jane Birkin’s daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg is kissed by TV host Nagui after Jane Birkin’s funeral
Charlotte had been visible crying outside the church
Serge Gainsbourg’s sister Jacqueline Gainsbourg attended the funeral of her sister-in-law
A fan of late British-French actor holds up a sign
The funeral was broadcast on the screen outside the church
Illustration of the giant screen during the funeral of Jane Birkin in the Saint-Roch church
Vanessa Paradis didn’t hold back tears in the church
Lucien Gainsbourg, Aurelie Bossu, known as Lilou, and Caroline (known as Bambou), right, leave the service
Merci Jane signs were held up by fans
Jane’s brother Andrew Birkin looked emotional as he left
Charlotte Gainsbourg cries as she is comforted after the funeral ceremony
Lou and Charlotte sobbed behind the coffin as they walked through the crowds
Jane Birkin’s daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg, centre, and Lou Dillon, center right, arrive to mourn their mother
Lucien Gainsbourg, Lilou Gainsbourg, and Caroline (known as Bambou) von Paulus look emotional
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon comfort each other as they follow the coffin of their mother after the funeral service
Catherine Deneuve leaves after the funeral ceremony
Alain Souchon arrives to attend the funeral in Paris
Hundreds of members of the public stand outside the church during the funeral ceremony for late British-French singer and actress Jane Birkin
Crowds help up signs saying ‘Jane Forever’ as they paid tribute to the star
Mourners had cups of espresso as they sat on the streets of Paris to listen to Birkin’s music play
Mourners held up iconic pictures of the actress while the pallbearers held the coffin
A mourner holds as portrait of Jane Birkin, as her casket is carried out of Saint-Roch church in Paris
Catherine Deneuve looks emotional as she attends the funeral of Jane Birkin in Paris today
Charlotte and Lou comfort each other with Charlotte’s husband Yvan Attal joining them
Jane Birkin’s daughter and French-British actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (right ) and her partner French actor Yvan Attal greet each others at the end of the funeral ceremony
Jane’s brother Andrew Birkin looked emotional as he joined the service
Brigitte Macron lead the mourners today as France’s fashion set have arrived in Paris for the funeral of Jane Birkin
The first lady of France was escorted into the service by a security team
Carole Bouquet and Etienne Daho, who delivered a eulogy, looked emotional
French singer Etienne Daho appears deep in thought as he leaves after the funeral service
Jane Birkin (pictured in 1996) died aged 76 last week at her home in Paris
Brigitte was without her husband, who is currently on a visit to French overseas territory New Caledonia. The President previously paid tribute to Jane as a ‘complete artist’.
The First Lady, who is considered one of the chicest women in France, was joined by many French actors, including Vanessa Paradis, the ex-wife of Johnny Depp, and her new husband French filmmaker Samuel Benchetrit.
French filmstars Jose Garcia, Catherine Deneuve and Sandrine Kiberlain also turned up to mourn the star.
Ms Birkin’s music echoed around the streets of Paris as the members of the public gathered in the street to mourn the muse.
A crowd built up around the church of Saint-Roch, as a close friend said she was preparing to re-join loved-ones including former boyfriend Serge Gainsbourg.
Recalling the Anglo-French showbusiness star who died last Sunday week, singer Etienne Daho said: ‘My Jane, thank you for your talent.
‘Your elegant and natural beauty, your pungent, macabre, and British humour, accompanied our gloomy adolescence. We wanted to be you, or Serge.’
Charlotte, left, joined pallbearers as they said goodbye to the fashion icon
Jane Birkin’s daughter and French-British actress Lou Doillon (left), her son Marlowe Jack Tiger Mitchell (second left), French-British actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (centre), her son Ben Attal (third left) and Kate Barry’s son Roman de Kermadec (third right) stand as they attend the funeral
Charlotte and Lou held each other as they sobbed outside the church
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, the daughters of late singer, actress and muse Jane Birkin arrive to mourn their mother
Alice Attal hugs a friend as Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, Marlowe Jack Tiger Mitchell, arrive to attend the funeral of Jane Birkin
Jane’s grandson Ben Attal looked emotional as he headed into the funeral
Charlotte hugs Vanessa Paradis following the funeral
Ben and Alice Attal, Jane’s grandchildren, joined their mother Charlotte Gainsborough and aunt Lou Doullion to mourn their grandmother
Lou chatted to a priest before heading into the service
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon were supported by hundreds of stars in Paris
Samuel Benchetrit, left, and his wife Vanessa Paradis arrive to Jane Birkin’s funerals ceremony at the Saint-Roch church in Paris
Vanessa Paradis, the mother of Lily-Rose Depp, was accompanied to the funeral by her husband Samuel Benchetrit
Samuel Benchetrit and Vanessa Paradis arrive to attend the funeral of late singer
French Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak arrives to attend the funeral ceremony for late British-French singer and actress
The family looked sombre as they watched the coffin be carried into the church
French actress Sandrine Kiberlain (centre) and her daughter French actress Suzanne Lindon (right) arrive to attend the funeral ceremony
Sandrine Kiberlain and Suzanne Lindon looked sad in all-black attire as they headed to the memorial
Actress Nicole Calfan opted to wear cream instead of black
French journalist Anne-Elisabeth Lemoine looked typically French in a minimalist get-up
French actress Catherine Deneuve looked emotional as she arrived at the funeral of Jane
Algerian actress Maiwenn looked stylish in all black as she attended the funeral
Mr Daho recalled others who had died, including Mr Gainsbourg and Ms Birkin’s eldest daughter, Kate Berry, who fell from an 80ft from a window of her apartment in Paris in 2013.
‘You will find your parents, Kate, Serge, your friends and your dogs. And we will miss you terribly,’ Mr Daho said.
The flowers covering the square in front of the church were evidence of the affection with which Birkin was held in France, her adopted country even if she never turned away from her British and especially London roots.
The family had made clear that access to the inside of the church was only allowed for close family and friends but a giant screen was set up outside to allow the wider public to follow.
Benjamin Biolay, Catherine Deneuve, relatives and friends leave after the funeral ceremony in tears
Spanish-French actor Jose Garcia clung onto a bike helmet as he walked into the funeral
French actress Emmanuelle Beart (right) and her husband documentary filmmaker Frederic Chaudier (left) arrive
English actress Charlotte Rampling, who often stars in French films, headed into the church
French singer Sheila paid tribute to Jane in a white shirt with polka dots
French journalist Patrick Cohen clung onto a briefcase as he headed in
French cinema legend Carole Bouquet pulled a sombre figure
Members of the funeral directors lay out wreaths of flowers prior to the funeral ceremony
Wreaths of flowers are displayed prior to the funeral ceremony
Her voice choking with emotion, Charlotte paid tribute to her mother as she addressed the congregation saying: ‘Now I am an orphan’. Her father Serge Gainsbourg died in 1991.
‘I see already the emptiness that she has left behind, she is my mum, our mum,’ she added.
Doillon said: ‘Mum, thank you for all these adventures, thank you for not being ordinary, reasonable or docile’.
Many of the hundreds gathered outside had tears in their eyes. Marie-Pierre Frapart, 63, said she had ‘come to pay tribute to our little Englishwoman’.
Marianne Faithfull, another English singer who adopted Paris as her home, posted the words: ‘My dearest Jane is gone.’
All listened to some of Ms Birkin’s hit songs – notably from the 1969 studio album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg – which were played from giant speakers outside Saint-Roch.
Ms Birkin had fought a ‘fierce battle’ against cancer before her death.
French singers – and brothers – Alain Souchon and Pierre Souchon wore all black for the service
French photographer Tony Frank looked emotional as he headed to the church
Flowers are seen in front of the Church of Saint-Roch before the funeral of late singer, actress and muse Jane Birkin in Paris
She had described her leukaemia – which she was diagnosed with in 1998 – as a ‘not very painful cancer,’ but in May she cancelled a serious of concerts when it got worse.
She said at the time: ‘I have always been a great optimist, and I realise that I still need a little time to be able again on stage and with you’.
She died on her first night alone in two years, as she tried to gain independence from fighting cancer.
Ms Birkin had also said she wanted to start performing again, and had been looking forward to her next appearance at the Olympia concert hall in the French capital.
A statement released by her family on Wednesday read: ‘Jane Birkin passed away after 16 years of a fierce battle with illness.
Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni arrive to attend the funeral
French singer-songwriter Eddy de Pretto was also in attendance
‘Since her stroke in September 2021, her family and wonderful caregivers had been by her side day and night.
‘For a few days, she had been walking again, and was motivated by rescheduling her Olympia performance.
‘The first evening alone turned out to be her last. She had decided it.’
The statement, which confirmed death by ‘natural causes’, was released by Ms Birkin’s manager, Olivier Gluzman, on behalf of her daughters.
Ms Birkin was best known as the former lover of Mr Gainsbourg, whom she first met in 1969 while co-starring in the French satirical romantic comedy.
She was 21 at the time, and had moved to France with her toddler daughter, Kate Barry, after a brief marriage to the James Bond composer, John Barry.
Ms Birkin and Gainsbourg’s sexually explicit song, ‘Je t’aime… moi non plus’ (I love you, nor me) was a worldwide hit, reaching Number One in the UK Charts.
This was despite it being banned from a number of stations, because it was considered too risqué.
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