updated 04/04/2009 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/04/2009 AT 10:30 AM ET
Thousands of fans and well-wishers gathered outside an English church about 20 miles northeast of London to pay their final respects to U.K. reality TV star Jade Goody on Saturday.
Like the final weeks before her death, which was lived much in the public eye, Goody’s funeral service was broadcast on huge TV screens for her fans.
Her casket began its journey in Bermondsey, South London, at about 8.30 a.m., with the procession crossing historic Tower Bridge before heading north to her home of Upshire, Essex.
Her friend and publicist Max Clifford earlier today told reporters, “It’s a sad day. She was just a young woman.” But Clifford also focused on Goody’s achievements in her short life.
“She will save an awful lot of lives because of her stand on cervical cancer,” he said. “That in itself is going to be Jade’s legacy. She hasn’t been here long but she’s achieved an awful lot.”
Goody, 27, died on March 22 after losing her highly publicized battle with cervical cancer.
Her husband, Jack Tweed was one of six pallbearers carrying the white coffin into St John’s Church in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, soon after it arrived at noon.
Outside, well wishers watched and listened as Tweed, 21, faltering at times, read a poem in dedication to his late wife.
“My life will never be the same without you by my side,” he recited. “Grief almost too much to bear and difficult to hide.”
Leading the mourners was Goody’s mom Jackiey Budden. The star’s sons Bobby, 5, and Freddy, 4, were not at the ceremony after being taken on a trip to Australia with their father, TV presenter Jeff Brazier.
Her coffin left the church to the sounds of pop songs including the Beatles’ “Let It Be” for a private burial service.
Goody’s story will not end here. Later this spring, a cancer diary she has called a love letter to her sons will be published.