In a service fit for music royalty, Celine Dion said goodbye to her lifelong partner, René Angélil, during an emotional funeral in Montreal. With her five-year-old twin boys, Nelson and Eddy, by her side and her eldest son, René-Charles, 14, escorting her mother, Thérèse Dion, the Canadian singer held back tears as she made her way down the aisle to her husband's casket and placed black calla lilies on top. Her ballad "Trois heures vingt" was a poignant soundtrack to the touching scene and, later, another of Celine's heartfelt songs, "J'irais chercher ton cœur," was played. The order of service noted that each song was chosen by René, who planned his funeral to save his wife the heartache of worrying about the details.
TAP IMAGE FOR MORE PICTURES FROM THE SERVICECeline and her sons observed the service seated beside René's coffin.
Hundreds of mourners packed into Notre-Dame Basilica, where the pews were lined with white lilies and black ribbons. René’s eldest son, Patrick, from his first marriage, shared opening remarks, followed by René-Charles, who spoke with poise and confidence about his beloved father. “You had a busy life but we were communicating through golf, hockey, poker and smoked meat, bonding more and more as time went by. You left me now with enough good memories to share with my younger brothers. As they grow older without you around I will make sure to pass on what I learned from you. Dad, I promise you here that we’re all going to look up to your standards.” He ended his moving address by declaring his love, saying, "Je t'aime, Papa."
René-Charles delivered a beautiful tribute to his father.
Following RC’s emotional words, his mother’s ballad “All the Way” filled the historic church. As expected, Celine did not sing at the funeral, but her music, through which she met René, played during the two-hour service. A children’s choir performed various hymns, complementing Celine's songs, and Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine presided over the service.
In the congregation, were dignitaries including former prime minister Brian Mulroney and his wife, Mila, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and NDP leader Tom Muclair. The couple’s famous friends who were unable to attend the service, sent messages of love and comfort by social media.