Half a decade after Zsa Zsa Gabor’s soul departed this mortal realm, her physical remains were finally laid in their final resting place on Tuesday.
Appropriately on-brand even after death, her ashes were transported to a Hungarian burial site on a multi-stop international flight filled with Champagne and caviar.
“She was first class, she had her own seat and she had her passport, everything there. It was her last trip, she always used to go first class, she had her Champagne, caviar,” Gabor’s ninth and final husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, told Reuters, referring to the travel experience of the urn bearing three-quarters of Gabor’s ashes. (One-quarter of her remains are staying in Los Angeles.)
Von Anhalt, 78, traveled to London, then Germany and, finally, Budapest, taking advantage of the recent reopening of COVID-closed borders to take his late wife home. (In her will, Gabor asked to be interred in her native Hungary.)
“She definitely wanted to be in Budapest because her father is buried here, too,” said von Anhalt, who was married to the glam Hollywood star from 1986 until she died, at age 99, in 2016. “That’s what she wanted and that’s what she had in her last will.”
A “celebration of life, not a funeral” — as von Anhalt said Gabor wanted — was performed to commemorate her ashes’ burial in a capital city cemetery. It involved a gypsy band and yellow and pink roses — Gabor’s favorite. She is interred alongside fellow great Hungarian creatives, including actors, writers and poets.
“She did a lot for Hungarians, be it for those who fled after the 1956 uprising, or during the polio epidemic, and she did not do those things because she wanted to get into the news,” von Anhalt said of Gabor, who fled to the US with her two sisters, Eva and Magda, at the advent of World War II.
In the US, all three Gabor sisters became film world socialites, with Zsa Zsa appearing in over 30 movies and becoming known as one of the final stars of Hollywood’s golden age.