Celine Dion has been joined by hundreds of her fans, friends and family members at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica to say a final goodbye to her late husband and long-time manager, Rene Angelil.
Angelil died on January 14, two days shy of his 74th birthday, after years of living with throat cancer.
A veiled, expressionless Dion arrived shortly before the ceremony began at 3pm on Friday, along with her mother and sons Rene-Charles, Nelson and Eddy.
The ceremony was live-streamed in Canada, and it captured the sweet tribute from Rene and Celine’s son Rene-Charles to his father.
“Fifteen years is not a long time for a son to get to know his father,” René-Charles said in the eulogy. “You had a busy life, but we were communicating through golf, hockey, poker … smoked meat … and a lot of other wonderful food, bonding more and more as time went by.”
“You left me now with enough good memories of you to share with my younger brothers,” René-Charles continued in his speech. “As they grow older without you being around, I’ll make sure to pass on what I’ve learned from you. You are a tough act to follow, but with your help everything is going to be fine. Dad, I promise you here that we are all going to live up to your standards.”
Dion had spent seven hours the previous day greeting fans and mourners at a public visitation at the same church, just feet away from the open casket that contained Angelil’s body.
Nearly 700 members of the public were permitted to attend Friday’s funeral ceremony.
Angelil’s casket was later taken to Montreal’s Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery.