16 Feb

Image Credit: Media Wales

A funeral was held today for the wife of First Minister Mark Drakeford, who died suddenly at the age of 71 last month.

Mr Drakeford and his wife Clare, who were married in 1977, had three adult children together, and lived in the Pontcanna area of the capital city for 30 years.

The death of Clare Drakeford was confirmed in a Welsh Government statement on 28 January, saying:

"It is with deep sadness that we confirm the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford, wife of the First Minister.

"The thoughts of everyone in the Welsh Government are with the family at this time and we ask that their privacy is respected."

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Mr Drakeford moved into a building in his garden to protect his wife and mother-in-law, who he said had been shielding.

Many senior politicians were seen gathering outside Thornhill Crematorium in North Cardiff this morning, as well as family and friends, for the funeral of the much-loved Clare.

Among those attending the service were the Senedd's Presiding officer Elin Jones, as well as Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies and Jane Dodds, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Former First Minister Carwyn Jones was also seen, alongside a number of Labour frontbenchers including Jane Hutt, Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles.

Mark Drakeford with his wife Clare back in 2022 - Credit: Getty

Upon the news of Mrs Drakeford's death last month, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sent his support to the First Minister and his family, saying:

"Incredibly sad to hear about the sudden death of Clare Drakeford. 

"I know how committed Mark and Clare were to each other. I can’t imagine the pain Mark and his family will now be feeling.

"My heartfelt condolences go out to them."

Labour Leader Keir Starmer also sent his message across, and said:

"I’m deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford.

"On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I send our deepest condolences to Mark and all the family. 

"They are all in our thoughts and prayers."

Jo Stevens, MP for Cardiff Central, and Economy Minister Vaughan Gething at the service - Credit: Media Wales

Following the service, the First Minister sent out a heartfelt tribute to his late wife, saying:

"Mae’r wythnosau diwethaf wedi bod yn anodd, ond rydym yn ddiolchgar o bob neges o gydymdeimlad.

"The past weeks have been incredibly difficult for our family, but I’m grateful for the many kind words of support we have received.

"Diolch o galon i chi gyd."

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