Celine and Rene are beyond royalty in Canada and US magazine reports there will be a state funeral for Rene tomorrow.
But today, Celine very publicly comforted and thanked family, friends and the hordes of fans who had lined up for hours to pay their respects to Rene, who died on January 14 at the age of 73 from a long battle with throat cancer.
Celine, who was only meant to stay for 30 minutes, stood beside her husband in his open casket in the Notre-Dame Basilica for over two hours, sharing small stories, comforting words and hugs with fans who loved her husband too.
Watch Celine’s grace and kindness to strangers and fans here (post continues after the video):
No one can know how Celine, 47, is feeling, but Rene has been her manager since she was 13 years old and a child prodigy. She has known Rene since she was 12 years old, marrying him in 1994 and they have three sons.
Celine, whose father was a butcher and mother a homemaker, was the youngest of 14 children and grew up in a poor but “very happy” home in Quebec, Canada. When Celine was a teenager her brother, Michel, sent Rene (he’d seen his name on the back of a record) a tape of his sister’s singing. Rene was moved to tears and mortgaged his home to fund her first record. That debut album made her a star in Canada in 1981 when she was just a young teenager.
For almost the same time she has known her husband, the My Heart Will Go On singer has been known by all of Canada, and Celine has chosen to bury and mourn her husband publicly and intimately, along with family, friends and her fans. The wake was filmed and photographed and at times the camera zoomed in on the obviously distressed singer.
Celine barely left Rene’s side in 2015, taking the year off work to be near him on his good days and bad.
Rene planned his own funeral before he died and has asked for two of Celine’s songs to be played but she will not sing live.
According to the Celine Dion Facebook page a commemorative celebration for Rene is scheduled for February 3 in Las Vegas at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.