Last Respects Paid to Anna Nicole Smith at Bahamas Funeral, Burial Services

Anna Nicole Smith's three-week journey to a final resting place came to an end Friday with her Bahamian funeral and burial, which had the kind of pomp and celebrity the former Playboy Playmate relished in life.

Smith was laid to rest in a mahogany casket — covered in a petal-pink, rhinestone-studded satin blanket fringed with ribbons and feathers — at a memorial garden in Nassau, the Bahamas' capital city, after a glitzy funeral held at a nearby church.

Photos: Anna Nicole Laid to Rest

When the funeral at Mount Horeb Baptist Church ended just before 1 p.m. EST Friday, mourners including her boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, estranged mother, bodyguards and friends streamed out, followed by pallbearers slowly carrying her casket down a red carpet and into the waiting white hearse.

Smith's closed casket laid at the altar with a portrait of the former reality TV show star, and the pews were festooned with pink flowers, said Yvonne Gibson, one of the guests.

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There were fewer than 100 guests, even though an organizer said about 300 — including an "Entertainment Tonight" camera crew — had been invited.

The TV program reported on its Web site that Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and wrestling champ Hulk Hogan were among the guests at the 90-minute ceremony, and country singer Joe Nichols had been expected to sing two songs requested by Smith's boyfriend, Howard K. Stern: "I'll Wait for You" and Dolly Parton's "On the Wings of a Dove."

The funeral procession took the hearse and a gaggle of white stretch limousines to a smaller graveside service at nearby Lakeview Memorial Gardens, where Smith was buried next to her 20-year-old son Daniel Smith.

Daniel died in the Bahamas last September of apparent drug-related causes; his mother's cause of death is still unknown and expected to be revealed next week.

Just as Smith's funeral ended, local Island FM radio in Nassau reported that a Supreme Court justice there denied a motion by Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, to halt the burial and take her daughter's body to Texas.

Justice Anita Allen denied the motion filed by Arthur attorney Deborah Rose, the radio report said. It was the latest attempt by Arthur, who had been estranged from her daughter, to halt the Bahamian burial of Smith.

Minutes before the funeral service was about to begin, cheers went up in the crowd clustered outside as Smith's coffin was lifted out of the hearse just after 11 a.m. ET and hoisted up the red carpet by pallbearers that included former bodyguards.

Onlookers cried out "Anna! Anna!"

Hundreds of family members, friends and other invited mourners checked in with tight security, partially provided by the Bahamian government, before entering the church for a funeral service billed as "over the top" by one friend who helped in the planning.

Hundreds of media, meanwhile, swarmed outside the church while helicopters hovered overhead providing coverage of the funeral procession.

Immediately preceding the hearse was a white stretch limousine carrying Smith's mother, who heard a smattering of boos from the crowd before entering the church.

Both ceremonies were closed to the public. About 100 guests attended the funeral service and about 30 people were invited to the graveside service in the island sunshine, which was cloaked in a giant green tent.

Hundreds of islanders and tourists crowded behind steel barricades, guarded by police as guests began arriving in stretch limousines. Some of the participants gushed at the sight of the white-columned Baptist church, whose pews were festooned with pink roses.

"It's beautiful, just beautiful," said Sheryl Rolle, 46, a choir member who wore a black dress and matching hat for the occasion.

Gazing at the ranks of TV cameras and police dressed in crisp white or tan tunics with blue trousers, Christie Rathgaber, a tourist, was amazed.

"She's got a presidential kind of media frenzy going on," said the 59-year-old nurse from Columbus, Ohio, who happened by the scene while waiting for nearby shops to open. "I'm just incredulous at all the fuss. She was not a world figure. She was not a queen. She was not a president. She was not anything ... It's just way over the top."

The Bahamas Supreme Court ruling could mean an end to the legal wrangling surrounding Smith's place of burial that began with her unexpected death Feb. 8 at age 39.

Arthur, through her attorney Tom Pirtle, had indicated Thursday she would try to get the body out of the Bahamas after the funeral was over, though he did not elaborate about possible action to do so.

"We are not exactly sure what shape it is going to be," Pirtle said Thursday in a telephone interview, just hours after reporting that Arthur had decided to drop her legal challenges in Florida courts.

Nassau police stood sentry at the church hours before Smith's funeral was scheduled to begin, in order to control access to the funeral.

Richard Milstein, the court-appointed advocate for Smith's 5-month-old daughter Dannielynn, and custodian of Smith's remains, read a statement before entering the church.

"All over the world, families are laying loved ones to rest in many different ways, in many different lands," Milstein said. "Today we come to you to carry out the final and most sacred solemn act in the life of any individual: to provide a final resting place."

He spoke of the grief that afflicted Smith when she lost her son right after giving birth to her daughter.

"Unfortunately, in a time when life should have [been at its] highest peak for her, she received both a blessing and a curse," Milstein said. "She joyously gave birth to a baby … and three days later, she lost a son ... If one were to write a Greek tragedy, one could not write a script as sorrowful as this."

He asked that the media pen the "final chapter" of Smith's life with dignity and respect for the sake of her baby girl.

Smith will be buried in a tiara and custom-made, beaded gown.

The service will feature large amounts of flowers in her favorite color, pink, and music by a well-known singer whose name organizers were not ready to disclose, said the friend, Patrik Simpson of Beverly Hills, Calif.

"It will be a very beautiful, Anna Nicole send-off," Simpson said Wednesday night in the Bahamian capital of Nassau. "Of course it will be over the top because it's Anna Nicole."

The private plane bearing her body left Florida with her casket early Friday morning after authorities escorted a black hearse to Miami International Airport, as news helicopters tracked the procession from the medical examiner's office in Fort Lauderdale. Jim Joseffy, managing director of IBC Airways, which operated the flight, confirmed the plane landed in Nassau.

Smith's death in a Florida hotel room set off legal disputes in California, Florida and the Bahamas. Her boyfriend, mother and an ex-boyfriend have argued over who should get the body and who should take custody of Dannielynn, who could inherit millions of dollars.

Arthur, boyfriend Howard K. Stern and ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead temporarily put aside their differences to attend the services.

Arthur had wanted to bury Smith in her native Texas, and fought last week's ruling from Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin that gave control of the body to Milstein.

But Stern insisted the former Playboy Playmate wanted to be buried next to Daniel. Milstein agreed.

On Wednesday, a Florida appeals court upheld Seidlin's ruling.

The celebrity gossip site TMZ reported Friday that Smith's first husband and the father of Daniel, Billy Smith, has indicated he wants his son's body exhumed and moved to a Texas gravesite.

Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward medical examiner, said he will announce Smith's cause of death next week.

"This was a complex case," Perper said. "It was an unusual case from a medical point of view."

Perper said after the appeals court ruling that he was not sure if Smith's body would be suitable for a viewing. He had told Seidlin during the hearing that she was decomposing, even though she had already been embalmed.

Stern, Arthur and others viewed Smith's body at the Florida morgue.

Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. The reality TV star and Playboy Playmate had been fighting his family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995.

Photos: Anna Nicole Laid to Rest

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FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.