Karel Gott in 2015. via Raymond Johnston

Karel Gott to have public funeral in Žofín Palace, mass in St Vitus cathedral next weekend

The Czech public can say farewell to pop star Karel Gott, who died on Tuesday aged 80, in Prague's Žofín Palace on Friday, October 11

Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) – The Czech public can say farewell to pop star Karel Gott, who died on Tuesday aged 80, in Prague’s Žofín Palace on Friday, October 11, and a commemorative mass will be celebrated for invited guests by Cardinal Dominik Duka in St Vitus Cathedral one day later.

Gott’s widow Ivana announced online today that after a thorough consideration, she opted for her husband’s funeral with state honours, in accordance with the cabinet’s proposal.

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Ivana Gottova, who married Gott in 2008 and has two daughters with him, thanked all for expressing condolences on her husband’s death and supporting their family.

“I would like to thank all who have expressed their sympathies to us over the departure of my husband Karel Gott. At the same time, I thank the prime minister and the cabinet for their initiative including the staging of a state funeral. After a thorough consideration, I opted for a funeral with state honours,” Gottova wrote.

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The ceremony of the last farewell to Gott will take place in Žofín on Friday, October 11, from 8:00 to 22:00.

“In accordance with my husband’s will and a previous agreement with the Prague Archbishopric, a requiem mass will take place, celebrated by Cardinal Dominik Duka, the archbishop of Prague. The mass will be held for invited guests in the Saints Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert Cathedral at Prague Castle on Saturday, October 12, at 11:00,” Gottova wrote.

On Wednesday, the cabinet proposed that Czechia will stage a state funeral for Gott and that the funeral day will be a day of national mourning, if his family gave their consent.

Today, PM Andrej Babis said that rather than a classical state funeral, the farewell to Gott will be a funeral with state honours.

According to former head of the Presidential Office protocol section Jindrich Forejt, the signs typical of funerals with state honours include, for example, the presence of the national flag and soldiers.

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Such a ceremony was held after the death of former ombudsman and justice minister Otakar Motejl in 2010.

The cabinet also planned to stage a funeral with state honours for outstanding gymnast Vera Caslavska in 2016, and a similar plan was suggested in the case of the late star athlete Emil Zatopek in 2000, but in both these cases it was rejected by their families.

Unlike funerals with state honours, a “classical” state funeral includes ceremonial acts such as a mourning session of parliament or the transfer of the coffin on a carriage with top-ranking military officers walking behind.

This format stems from the fact that a state funeral is usually held in honour of a deceased president, who was the country’s supreme military commander, Forejt said.

rtj/dr/bas

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