A private, invitation-only memorial service with up to 500 guests is planned Sunday for Prince at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Minnetonka.
City spokeswoman Kari Spreeman said Minnetonka police were notified of the event, which starts at 5 p.m., so they could provide extra officers to maintain traffic flow and safety. “We have to be there to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible,” she said, confirming that police were told to prepare for up to 50 high-profile guests.
Prince, who had joined the faith in 2003, was a regular at Sunday services when he was in town.
Known to fellow congregants as “Brother Nelson,” he would sit quietly with his Bible for a two-hour service that began with a hymn.
In the tradition of Prince’s faith, the memorial service on Sunday isn’t expected to last beyond half an hour, Spreeman said.
The beefed-up traffic control around the church at 13001 Lake St. Extension is provided at no cost.
However, Spreeman said the church had privately hired and will pay for extra security on the church premises.
The service is one of several for Prince since he was found dead in his Paisley Park studio-home in Chanhassen on the morning of April 21. Days later, a private event for family and close friends was held at Paisley Park.
Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, took to Facebook on Friday to say that neither she nor her brother’s remains would be at the service on Sunday because “once is enough” and the family is working on a public “memorial/funeral/tribute” here in August. She said to expect “more updates soon.”
Prince’s two ex-wives, Manuela Testolini and Mayte Garcia, held a private, luminary-filled service in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Among the speakers were director Spike Lee and producer-musician Nile Rodgers. Mavis Staples attended. Esperanza Spalding performed, and the service opened with a rendition of the Prince song, “Sometimes It Snows in April.”
Afterward, Lee posted on Instagram that he planned another celebration in Brooklyn on June 4, three days before what would have been Prince’s 58th birthday. Lee said details would be forthcoming and guests should start planning their purple outfits.
Tyka Nelson said grief is unique, so she supports “any and all memorials or funerals that have happened and/or are being planned.”