As mourners filed past Aretha Franklin lying in repose on the first of a two-day public viewing at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, they were likely comforted to see that the Queen of Soul, avid lover of luxury, was to be buried as she lived—in high style.
As reported by USA Today, the Queen of Soul, dressed in red from head to toe, was resting in a gleaming solid bronze, 14-karat gold-plated Promethean casket lined with champagne-colored velvet. Embroidered inside in gold metallic thread were the words “Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.”
Linda Swanson, executive vice president of Swanson Funeral Home, which oversaw the preparation of Franklin’s body, told the news outlet the legend was dressed in a “tea-length ruby red dress made of lace—with a full tulle skirt and chiffon overlay.” The dress reportedly also featured a beaded bodice, as was paired with matching custom beaded earrings.
But surprisingly, the most talked-about details were on Franklin’s feet, which were crossed at the ankle and adorned with 5-inch Christian Louboutin stilettos in metallic red.
It was the kind of ruby slipper detail that makes Franklin’s homegoing all the more poignant and reminds us that the icon’s legacy is nearly as steeped in style as it was song.
“She is presented in a way that reflects her life and her legacy,” Swanson told USA Today. “She is, indeed, resplendent in repose, as a queen should be.”