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Friday, 22 January 2016

Grieving Celine Dion Thanks Fans as She Mourns Husband Rene Angelil (Photos)

Celine Dion joined fans of René Angélil's as they paid their final respects during a visitation on Thursday at Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montreal, Dailymail reports.

The 47-year-old performer hid her face behind a black veil but it was clear she was distraught and had tears in her eyes in a video shared by Global News.

Angélil died of throat cancer at the age of 73 on January 14. His funeral will be held on Friday at the same basilica.

Despite her grief, the star told People magazine that she was thankful to those who have kept her family in their thoughts at this tragic time.

Celine's husband in the open casket as sympathizers mourned 

Speaking of those who lined up to pay their respectsin particular, Celine told People: 'The support we've received has been such a blessing.'

Also at the service was her mother Thérèse, 88, and René's brother André his sons Patrick and Jean-Pierrem, daughter Anne-Marie Angelil as well as Celine's eldest René-Charles, aged 14, who is namked after his late father.

The beauty made sure her makeup was done nicely as she greeted fan after fan with a handshake and sometimes a kiss. By the performer's side was her eldest son with Angélil - René-Charles, who wore a dark suit and tie.

Celine grieves at the open casket 

The show biz manager was lying in state from 2 pm until 9 p.m. at the basilica. Celine was supposed to stay only 30 minutes but she greeted well wishers into the night. Often she spent several minutes with strangers that had waited in line to have a word with the superstar.

The A New Day Has Come chart topper was seen approaching the casket where René laid peacefully. Her head was down and she seemed to be on the verge of tears.

Celine and Rene's oldest son Rene Charles Angelil attending the memorial ceremony 

His hands were put on top of each other and he had on a dark suit with white shirt and white tie. Once by her husband's side, Dion put her left hand on René's shoulder in a heartbreaking moment. Several times the star broke down in tears and used a white handkerchief to help her out.

More people condoles with Celine at the open casket 

Dion was dressed appropriately in a black coat over a black dress with opaque tights and pumps. She was seen with her veil both on and off.

The beauty's red tresses were pulled back into a ladylike bun. Hundreds of people attended the service. It is believed Angélil's adult children from a previous relationship - Anne-Marie, Patrick and Jean-Pierre - were also there.

People magazine shed some light on the state of her mind this week: 'Her heart is in pieces,' a source told the publication.

'There are no words. She's in extreme grief right now. She's extremely heartbroken. But she's putting on a brave face.'

Celine welcome more people who condoled with her 

In the last year 'the singer rarely left her husband's side' as he used a feeding tube, People added. 'He had both good and bad days,' a source said.

'Some days he could get up and walk around the room, play with the kids. Some days he was too tired.'

A national funeral for Angélil will be held Friday at the same church beginning at 3 p.m. The flag at the Quebec National Assembly will fly at half-mast. The funeral will be officiated by the Most Reverend Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, according to the Gazette.

In the early years of their relationship: Celine (center) with René (left) and Eddy Marnay (right) in 1985 

Last week Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced a national funeral would be held to honour Angélil, who was born in Montreal.

'We were all touched by the death of René Angélil,' Couillard said. 'Quebecers will have a chance to pay tribute to a man who had an impact on the cultural landscape of our nation.'

The church also was the location of their happiest day: The two wed at the basilica in December 1994  

The couple are superstars in their native Canada and the funeral will be televised on three networks, according to TMZ. In accordance with Rene’s wishes two of Celine’s songs will play during the service. The Canadian beauty will not sing at the memorial.

Anne-Marie Angelil, Rene's daughter, left with with her husband Marc Dupre, who lovingly held on to her hand

Celine's mother Thérèse Dion, 88, joined the mourners

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