Sunday 24 September 2017

Celine Dion attends wake of husband Rene ahead of funeral today

Celine Dion (C) and Rene Charles Angelil (R) leave after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Celine Dion (C) and Rene Charles Angelil (R) leave after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Celine Dion (C) and Rene Charles Angelil (R) leave after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Members of the public attend the public memorial service for Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal , Canada. Rene Angelil died on January 14, 2016 from cancer. (Photo by Olivier Samson Arcand / OSAIMAGES / Feeling Productions Inc. via Getty Images)
Members of the public attend the public memorial service and sign the guest book for Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal , Canada. Rene Angelil died on January 14, 2016 from cancer. (Photo by Olivier Samson Arcand / OSAIMAGES / Feeling Productions Inc. via Getty Images)
Celine Dion receives members of the public during the public memorial service for her husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal , Canada. Rene Angelil died on January 14, 2016 from cancer. (Photo by Olivier Samson Arcand / OSAIMAGES / Feeling Productions Inc. via Getty Images)
Celine Dion, son Rene-Charles Angelil and friends and family members observe as the priest conducts a memorial service before the public viewing for her husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal , Canada. Rene Angelil died on January 14, 2016 from cancer. (Photo by Olivier Samson Arcand / OSAIMAGES / Feeling Productions Inc. via Getty Images)
Mourners wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica January 21, 2016 to pay their respects to the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion who passed away January 14, 2016 at the age of 73.
Celine Dion (C) and Rene Charles Angelil (R) leave after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Mourners wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 to pay their respects to the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion who passed away January 14, 2016 at the age of 73. / AFP / Geoff RobinsGEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images
Mourners wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 to pay their respects to the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion who passed away January 14, 2016 at the age of 73. / AFP / Geoff RobinsGEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images
Guests gather outside as they attend a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
A woman takes a photograph of a large screen showing a photo of the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion, as hundreds wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica January 21, 2016 to pay their respects. Angélil passed away on January 14, 2016 at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer. / AFP / Geoff RobinsGEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images
A man takes a photograph of a large screen showing a photo of the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion, as hundreds wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica January 21, 2016 to pay their respects. Angélil passed away on January 14, 2016 at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer. / AFP / Geoff RobinsGEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images
Celine Dion leaves after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
An exterior view of Notre Dame Basilica during a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Celine Dion greeted hundreds of mourners who paid their respects to her late husband Rene Angelil in Montreal, Canada.

The singer's longtime partner and manager passed away last week following a battle with cancer, and the day before his funeral, Dion attended his public wake at the Notre-Dame Basilica, the same church where she and Rene exchanged vows in 1994 and baptized their first child, 14-year-old son Rene-Charles.

According to Canada's The Toronto Star newspaper, Dion stood next to her husband's open casket as she greeted friends, family and Quebec political and cultural figures, who lined up in the cold to share their condolences. She was joined by Angelil's adult sons Patrick and Jean-Pierre from a previous marriage in the receiving line, as well as Rene-Charles for part of the viewing.

Mourners received a programme with a photo of Angelil on the front, along with a quote from Dion which reads: "I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony. The idea of leaving it unfinished would have hurt him terribly. I realized that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him."

Celine Dion receives members of the public during the public memorial service for her husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal , Canada. Rene Angelil died on January 14, 2016 from cancer. (Photo by Olivier Samson Arcand / OSAIMAGES / Feeling Productions Inc. via Getty Images)
Celine Dion receives members of the public during the public memorial service for her husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal , Canada. Rene Angelil died on January 14, 2016 from cancer. (Photo by Olivier Samson Arcand / OSAIMAGES / Feeling Productions Inc. via Getty Images)

Today, Dion will return to the church for his funeral, which will be officiated by the Archbishop of Montreal and will also be streamed online for fans around the world to view, much like the wake on Thursday.

Celine took to Twitter yesterday and invited fans from around the world to take part in her late husband's funeral, writing, "From anywhere across the globe, it will be possible to follow Rene Angelil’s state funeral online tomorrow."

She added a link to a website in his honour.

The service will also be televised on three Canadian networks.

Mourners wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 to pay their respects to the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion who passed away January 14, 2016 at the age of 73. / AFP / Geoff RobinsGEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images
Mourners wait in line outside Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 to pay their respects to the late René Angélil, husband and manager of Canadian singer Céline Dion who passed away January 14, 2016 at the age of 73. / AFP / Geoff RobinsGEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Quebec's Premier, Philippe Couillard, has declared the ceremony a national funeral for Montreal-born Rene, and the flag at the Quebec National Assembly will fly at half-mast on Friday.

A memorial service is also planned for 3 February at Las Vegas' Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where Dion has performed a residency since 2011.

Angelil died two days before the pop star's brother Daniel lost his battle with cancer. He will be buried in Montreal on Saturday.

Celine Dion leaves after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Celine Dion leaves after attending a Public Memorial Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 21, 2016 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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