René Angélil funeral: Memorable moments
Famous Quebecers in attendance include Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, lyricist Luc Plamondon, Montreal mayor
The funeral for René Angélil, Céline Dion's husband and manager, was packed with hundreds of mourners, from the famous to ordinary Quebecers, many of whom waited outside the church in the chilly Montreal air to pay their respects to the music magnate.
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The service, held at the Notre-Dame Basilica where Dion and Angélil were married in 1994, was marked by a heartwarming eulogy by Angélil's teenage son René-Charles.
"Fifteen years is not a long time for a son to get to know his father," René-Charles lamented in English. "You had a busy life but we were communicating through golf, hockey, poker and smoked meat," he said with a smile, garnering chuckles from the audience.
"You are a tough act to follow, but with your help everything is going to be fine."
He promised to live up to his father's expectations, and said he had many fond memories to share with his younger brothers, five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.
"Je t'aime, pa," he closed with, his mother beaming from the front row.
At the end of the service, the family slowly exited the church, to applause from everyone inside. René-Charles was one of the pallbearers.
Some of Dion's francophone hits punctuated the service — including 1995's Pour que tu m'aimes encore and 1991's L'amour existe encore.
Dion was in tears as she left, then laid her head briefly on the coffin outside the church.
Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, attended, as did several prominent politicians.
Quebec politicians who attended included Premier Philippe Couillard, Parti Québécois leader Pierre-Karl Péladeau and his wife, television host and producer Julie Snyder, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume.
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney and his wife Mila also attended.
Lyricist Luc Plamondon and Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien were also there to pay their respects.
Fans offer condolences
Fans poured out their support to the family on social media.
My heart goes out to <a href="https://twitter.com/celinedion">@celinedion</a> and her boys. They stayed stoic through the entire service. Very beautifully done. RIP <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReneAngelil?src=hash">#ReneAngelil</a> 🌹❤️—@coley716
No words, just heartache for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CelineDion?src=hash">#CelineDion</a> 🙏RIP <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReneAngelil?src=hash">#ReneAngelil</a> <a href="https://t.co/DZQ9zwyRtV">pic.twitter.com/DZQ9zwyRtV</a>—@1MusicalHeart
Many fans applauded Dion's strength, especially since she also just lost her older brother Daniel to cancer last week.
What a strong woman.To lose your husband and brother in a matter of days,and then comfort others is something else. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CelineDion?src=hash">#CelineDion</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReneAngelil?src=hash">#ReneAngelil</a>—@LilahAsher
Good Lord <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReneAngelil?src=hash">#ReneAngelil</a> funeral was a tear jearker. Love you <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/celine?src=hash">#celine</a>—@Jinjer