The funeral of Celine Dion’s husband and longtime manager Rene Angelil was held on Friday at Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica. The funeral mass was televised live across Canada and streamed online for the singer’s fans around the world.
Angelil died January 14 at the couple’s home in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a long struggle with throat cancer. He was 73.
Celine Dion looked visibly moved yet poised and elegant as she entered the church holding the hands of her youngest twins. Her eldest son followed closely behind. Wearing a black lace veil, her hair pulled back she entered the same basilica where she married Rene 21 years earlier.
Some 2,000 invited guests packed the Gothic Revival church, its benches decorated with white lilies for the funeral.
Friends and family were handed a memorial card with a black and white photo of Angelil on their way out of the church. A note from Dion written on the back of the card reassured them that she would return to the stage after taking the time she needed to grieve his loss.
“I understood that my career was somehow his masterpiece, his song, his symphony to himself. The idea that it could remain unfinished would have pained terribly. I understood that if he ever left us, I should continue without him, for him,” the message said.
Angelil’s casket was later taken to Montreal’s Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery for a private graveside ceremony.
Photos courtesy of Reuters.