Grieving Mark and Jessica Wright paid tribute to their beloved Nanny Pat as she was laid to rest in Essex on Friday.
The siblings were supported by Mark’s doting wife Michelle Keegan, 28, and the TOWIE cast as they urged mourners to not ‘cry because it’s over, smile because it happened’ in a series of emotional readings.
Joining Mark, Jessica, their devastated mother Carol and the rest of the family at the service at South Essex Crematorium in Upminster were the likes of Lydia Bright, Ferne McCann, Amy Childs and numerous other stars of The Only Way Is Essex, who turned out in droves to pay their respects to Nanny Pat – real name Patricia Brooker – who passed away at the age of 80 last month.
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Sombre: Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright led the mourners at the late Nanny Pat’s funeral in Upminster, Essex on Friday
In mourning: A white carriage – pulled along by white horses – was seen arriving at the TOWIE star’s house before heading to the South Essex Crematorium
Her final farewell included her elaborate coffin being carried through the streets of Essex before she was finally laid to rest.
Also seen arriving at the funeral on Friday was another of Nanny Pat’s grandchildren, TOWIE star and Mark’s sister Jessica, who failed to contain her sadness as she joined her family, including parents Carol and Mark Wright, for the occasion.
Mark was later seen acting as pallbearer, carrying the woven coffin along with the others, including his brother Josh.
Nanny Pat passed away in mid-December, following a short illness, leaving her family, co-stars, friends and fans of the hit ITVBe series in shock.
The sad news was released in a statement to MailOnline on behalf of the Wright and Brooker Family, reading: ‘Sadly our amazing, courageous and beautiful Nanny Pat passed away this morning after a short illness.
An honour: Mark joined the other pallbearers as he carried Nanny Pat’s woven coffin into the church
Solemn: Mark was clearly emotional as he prepared to say goodbye to his grandmother
A hard time: Mark was completely griefstriken as he completed his duties while honouring his late grandparent
Sticking together: Michelle and Mark stayed close as they arrived together at the memorial – held almost a month after Nanny Pat’s death – holding hands
Emotional: The former Coronation Street actress greeted another mourner with a hug
Tears: TOWIE’s Jessica Wright – another of Nanny Pat’s grandchildren – couldn’t hold back her tears as she waited outside the home
Simply the best: Her coffin was taken to the memorial in the white carriage, complete with a floral tribute on top, emblazoned with the words ‘Simply the best’
Final farewell: Nanny Pat’s elaborate coffin was carried through the streets of Essex before she was finally laid to rest
Remembering her: The official order of service revealed there would be plenty of tributes for Nanny Pat, as well as a reading and a recital of The Lord’s Prayer
‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened’: The iconic Dr. Seuss quote was included along the bottom of the order of service, a touching tribute for the late reality star
‘We are overwhelmed by sadness, and the whole family ask for privacy at this horrible time.’
Many of the stars of TOWIE later arrived at the church to pay their respects at the service, which was revealed to include several elements, including a reading, a ‘tribute to our nan’, a look back at her life by the Rev. Andrew Bryant, and a reading of the Lord’s Prayer.
There was also a visual tribute and a blessing included in the official order of service, which was emblazoned with the picture of Nanny Pat and included an iconic Dr. Seuss quote: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’
She’s sorely missed: Nanny Pat – real name Patricia Brooker – was a beloved member of cast of The Only Way Is Essex
Fit for a queen: The much-adored star celebrated her 80th birthday on the ITVBe reality show weeks before her death, enjoying a royal wedding themed birthday bash in Surrey
TOWIE regulars James ‘Arg’ Argent, Lydia Bright, Billie Faiers, Ferne McCann, Chloe Sims, Kate Wright, Dan Edgar and Danielle Armstrong were among those who had turned out for the day.
The large group of reality TV stars – which also included former TOWIE castmember Amy Childs – spent time outside in the sunshine before heading inside to greet members of the Wright family.
Nanny Pat was a much-loved star of the show, famed for cooking up her sausage plaits and hilarious one-liners.
The much-adored star celebrated her 80th birthday on the ITVBe reality show weeks before her death, enjoying a royal wedding themed birthday bash in Surrey.
She broke down in tears on the episode as she remembered her late husband Charlie, whose photo she would carry around in her purse.
The hardest day: TOWIE star Carol Wright stepped out of the home to head to the crematorium, preparing to say goodbye to her mother one last time
Outpouring of emotion: Jessica and her mother Carol couldn’t fight back the tears on Friday at the Essex funeral of Nanny Pat
Grieving: Michelle and Mark dressed respectfully in black for the service
All together: The Wright family held white roses as they prepared to head to the funeral of their beloved grandmother
A time for family: Jessica, Mark and the entire Wright family turned out for Nanny Pat, who passed away in mid-December following a short illness
Embrace: Mark hugged a member of his family as they congregated outside a residence in Upminster, Essex
Strong bond: Carol was joined by members of her family as they held white roses ahead of the funeral service
Doing it her way: A lavish funeral had been put on for Nanny Pat, with no expense spared
Tribute: Among the tributes for the late TV favourite was a floral football shirt design
Paying homage: A member of the family waited outside along with the floral tributes to the late, great star
Leading the tweets of at the time, 28-year-old Mark wrote on Twitter: ‘My heart is broken but so overwhelmed by your support. To know good ole Nanny was loved by so many is the best feeling in the world Thankyou.’ [sic].
Jess added: ‘Heart broken does not even come close to how my family & I are feeling. Thank you so much for your support my Nan was so loved an angel.’ [sic].
Mark recently posted a heartwarming picture of Nanny Pat from his wedding day last summer, planting a kiss on his beautiful bride Michelle’s cheek.
He captioned the tender moment: ‘Life is all about ups & downs. This year 1 special women vowed to be in my life forever and 1 special women left my life forever…
Paying their respects: Nanny Pat was a truly beloved star of TOWIE, famed for her sausage plaits and hilarious one-liners
Sadness: Mark kept his eyes hidden behind a pair of sunglasses for much of the day
Emotions running high: Michelle – who tied the knot with Mark in May last year, becoming a member of the Wright family herself – looked shaken as she nervously bit her nails
A difficult time: The actress held back the tears as she battled the chilly early January air while heading towards her grandmother-in-law’s funeral
‘Be prepared for the best & worst moments. Just make sure in 2016 you take the best out of every moment and never take anyone or anything for granted.
‘Happy new year people. Lots of love and happiness to you all. Xx’.
Mark’s post came after his sister Jessica showed that Nanny Pat will be just as much a part of the Wright family’s Christmas celebrations this year as she was any other.
A keen believer that her grandmother is there with them in spirit, the 30-year-old star shared a sweet tribute to the late reality star on Instagram in the run-up to the festivities.
Going in style: Horses decorated with feathers and an elaborately-designed carriage, the entire affair was reminiscent of a typical Cockney funeral
Goodbye: Nanny Pat was a proud mother of six and grandmother of 14, all of whom were devastated when she passed away
Solemn: Clad in all-black, TOWIE’s Jessica kept her eyes averted ahead of the funeral
Sorrow: Mark Wright Senior – Mark and Jessica’s father – was present at the funeral , along with the rest of the close-knit family
Helping hands: Nanny Pat’s grandson Mark was given a pat on a back by a fellow pallbearer
Procession: There was a large turnout at the South Essex Crematorium
Arrival: Mark and Jessica’s brother Josh was seen arriving at the funeral venue after the others
Honoring her late grandma, Jessica posted a picture of a decoration which read: ‘Christmas in heaven. What do they do? They come down to Earth to spend it with you. So save them a seat. Just one empty chair. You may not see them but they will be there.’
Captioning the image, she wrote: ‘Merry Christmas my angel we have a seat for you Nan X x (sic)’.
Incredibly close to her family, Patricia Brooker was the proud mother of five children, including daughter Carol Wright, 14 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
A TOWIE spokesperson said, shortly after her death: ‘We are absolutely devastated to hear the sad news about our beloved Nanny Pat.
‘Patricia has been at the heart of TOWIE from the very beginning and we will miss her terribly. Our thoughts are with the Wright family at this very sad time.’
TOWIE favourites: Chloe Sims and James ‘Arg’ Argent arrived at the South Essex Crematorium as they prepared to pay tribute to their friend and co-star
Difficult: Long-running TOWIE star Chloe looked overwhelmed with emotion as she was joined by Danielle Armstrong
Familiar faces: TOWIE stars Billie Faiers, Ferne McCann and Danielle Armstrong were among those who had stepped out for the memorial
New kids on the block: New TOWIE stars Kate Wright and Dan Edgar wore sombre expressions as they arrived hand-in-hand
Going together: TOWIE regular Lydia Bright and her mother Debbie joined the others, hiding their eyes behind shades
Blast from the past: Former TOWIE castmember Amy Childs was also pictured arriving at the service
The matriarch, who was born in 1935, initially turned down the chance of appearing on TOWIE alongside her family as she said she wanted to watch television, not be on it.
But she soon changed her mind and became one of the most loved characters on the show.
She once said: ‘It’s a shame that my Charlie wasn’t around to see us all on television. He wouldn’t believe it, but it’s really lovely.’
In 2012, she told the Daily Mail: ‘Mark started filming for the show and he kept talking about me to the producers and before I knew what was happening I was starring.
Easing the pain: Bobby Norris was seen hugging another member of the congregation as they shared their sadness
Family friend: James has long been Mark’s best friend, and is very close to the family
Huge turnout: As expected, there were hundreds who turned out to celebrate the late, great Nanny Pat
‘I told him it would just be a one-off thing but I can’t get out of it now. I can’t go anywhere without getting recognised these days because of the fame.’
She gained a fan following thanks to her frank attitude and witty one-liners.
She said: ‘I am a typical Essex girl, well I hope so! I am nice, but I am just plain, unlike all the young girls with their fake tans and big heels. I do love handbags though.’
Touching tribute: Mark recently shared a heartwarming picture of his late grandmother Nanny Pat planting a kiss on his wife Michelle Keegan’s cheek on the couple’s wedding day
She’ll be missed: Nanny Pat famously almost didn’t appear on TOWIE along wit her grandchildren, but later fell in love with it