Canterlot had only seen thongs of this scale twice in living memory. The first time was during of the wedding of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza (known to friends and most of her subjects as Princess Cadance) and Captain of the Royal Guard Shining Armor, due to the combination of attendees of the wedding, the increased presence of the Equestrian Military and the Changeling Invasion.
The second was the ascension and coronation of Princess Twilight Sparkle as the fourth Alicorn Princess to trot the globe.
This third gathering dwarfed the prior two in both the size of the masses that had swarmed to Canterlot for the event and the variety of species with representatives in attendance. Even if the hordes of bodies of all shapes and sizes clogged the streets and made staying in the air for those with wings merely a matter wedging oneself properly into some of the sturdy looking mobs of flying bodies, the idea of missing this event was unthinkable.
To call it a once in a lifetime event wouldn't do it justice: Princess Celestia, the immortal Alicorn who had ruled Equestria for well over a thousand years in relative peace and harmony, Conquer of countless villains, monsters and the damned, she who rose and lowered Sun and Moon alone for much of her reign... was dead.
One of the consistant pillars of Equestria and the wider world had crumbled. She had been retired for some time, with Princess Twilight Sparkle taking the reins of leading the nation and taking over political duties so the passing of the former Sun Monarch was not the world shattering event that many may have feared, but the days leading up to the funeral had seemed... darker then normal all the same.
Across the face of the world, magical screens had been organized in all of Equestria's allied nations, alongside her own cities and towns for the benefit of those who wished to witness the event but were unable to make the pilgrimage to Canterlot itself. Canterlot hosted many of these screens itself for the benefit of the vast majority of visitors who were unfortunate enough not to be able to be in the service chamber physically for the event.
Those who were present in the chamber for the funeral service itself had not gotten there by chance. While a number of pews had been filled by those who had been personally invited to attend to event, this 'VIP' section had only filled up a third of the chamber. The rest of the seating had been decided in what was the most ruthless, brutal and unforgiving display of political intrigue and diplomatic warfare the world had even seen; While there were plans for all the gathered mourners to have a chance to visit the casket and say a few words, the chance to be in physical attendance for the service itself, witnessed by most of the planet was a prestigious opportunity that wouldn't arise again until one of the other Alicorn Princesses kicked the bucket that no amount of wealth would be able to buy.
No expense had been spared for the ceremony itself. The closed casket alone could have funded a small nation for over a year, but considering all the wealth and prosperity that Princess Celestia had brought into the world over her long reign it was considered an acceptable cost (regardless of what the Minister of Finance had to say on the matter).
At long last, the murmurs of the crowd ceased as Princess Twilight Sparkle strolled forth to take the stage and get the proceedings started. While not as tall or regal as her predecessors had been just yet and her eyes glistening with tears that her duties required that she not shed just yet, as the eyes of the world turned upon the purple ruler of Equestria she attempted to hold herself to the high standard required of her position.
Magically empowering her voice so that it could be heard by those in the back of the room, alongside being heard clearly to those watching abroad, the rawness in the Princesses voice as she struggled to maintain composer brought many who witnessed it to the brink of tears. "We are gathered here today to bid farewell to Prin... former Princess, Celestia. I never believed that I would one day say those words, just as I am sure that many of you never expected to ever have to hear them but... here we are."
"We've gathered here today to remember a mare who shaped not just a nation, but the very course of world history as we know it. Who viewed all of pony kind as her beloved children and who was always the first to try and bring a ray of sunshine to try and brighten up a dark situation in the lives of everyone she encountered."
"Before we begin, however, the deceased has requested in their final moments that this announcement be read." Taking a deep breath as Twilight floated up a closed and sealed envelope that bore the personal seal of Celestia herself, she broke it and pulled out the letter found within to read it aloud for all to hear. "I, Celestia, of sound mind if failing body, declare that in the event of my death, my possessions will not be divided among friends and loved ones."
As she continued to read, the sadness in Twilight's voice started to fade away into confusion, her eyes narrowing as she read the words clearly written in her mentors hoof-writing and despite clearly not believing what she was reading, continued to do so out of a need not to leave a job half finished. "Instead, her ghost and skeleton will... and I quote, 'duel to get to see who gets to keep my garbage'."
The stunned silence that filled the world lasted almost an eternity... before Twilight couldn't help but snort softly to herself. "...Huh. Obviously a bit of posthumous humor for-" was all she managed to say before being cut off as the lid of the casket exploded outwards with an almighty din, a hellish roar filling the air as a horned skeleton rose from the casket, wings devoid of feathers flaring out the sides as it rose from the grave. Twilight's own wings flared in shock and horror as an unregal "HOLY SHIT!" escaped her.
Even as the gathered crowd of mourners screamed in panic as they started to withdraw from the bony horror that had risen from the grave before their very eyes, an unnatural white mist started to gather above the crowd. Within seconds, a ghostly pale apparition of the deceased Celestia had manifested... and as she started to dive bomb her skeletal remains let out a ghastly wail powerful enough to cause ears to bleed.
Before the ghostly specter reached the casket, the bones of Celestia leaped out to met their spiritual counterpart, slamming into the ghost and causing both of them to tumble into the thankfully empty first row pew to start their brawl properly. As the world watched in silent horror as the unholy battle for supremacy began in earnest while those present fled, panicked or simply gazed at the spectral in complete and utter horror, the Lord of Chaos Discord stepped up to stand beside the horror stuck Princess of Friendship with tears in his eyes as he gazed upon a sight of true, chaotic beauty and muttered aloud for the world to hear "I have five bits on Ghoststia! That girl has spirit!"