Grave of the Gypsy Queen in Meridian, Mississippi

A gypsy queen’s grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, in Meridian, Mississippi, is littered with offerings, including orange crush soda, her favorite drink. Her name was Kelly Mitchell, and she passed away on 1/31, after giving birth to her fifteenth child. She was the leader of the Romany clan, a nomadic group hailing from India (also, once known as gypsies). Her funeral was distinctly Romany, with over 20,000 Romany guests. Her hair was braided in typical gypsy fashion, and she was dressed in royal green and other bright colors, mixed with darker colors to represent the somber moment. People still leave festive trinkets to this day, hoping that she will be pleased, and solve their problems.

Key Takeaways:

  • Queen Kelly Mitchell certainly had a following when she died. She was noted as a gypsy leader that had a large following.
  • Surprisingly, the group followed her to the grave site in Meridian. Few would have thought that Mississippi was the right place for her.
  • Romany are a nomadic group, perhaps originating from northern India. The term gypsy is discouraged because it might have racial connotations.

“Queen Kelly’s funeral was a distinctly Romany event, which nearly 20,000 of her people attended, creating a musical party atmosphere in the overflowing town.”