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Celine Dion’s son René-Charles pays touching tribute to his late father

René Angelil was farewelled by hundreds of mourners at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica on Friday, with eldest son René-Charles moving many to tears with his heartfelt words.

In a service filled with poignant touches, 15-year-old René-Charles took to the podium to deliver one of the most heartfelt tributes to the man who had impacted so many.

Speaking slowly and with purpose, the teen spoke about how his time with his beloved father had been cut short by the illness he had battled for so long.

René and Celine were married for over 20 years and had three children together – René-Charles, and twins Eddy and Nelson.

“Fifteen years is not a long time for a son to get to know his father. You had a busy life, but we were communicating through golf, hockey, poker and smoked meat … and a lot of other wonderful food, bonding more and more as time went by,” he told the assembled mourners on Friday.

“You left me now with enough good memories of you to share with my younger brothers. As they grow older, without you being around, I’ll make sure to pass on what I’ve learned from you.”

Despite nearing the end of his courageous years-long battle with cancer, it was revealed that René had taken on much of the planning for his own funeral and memorial to ease the burden of his beloved wife.

As a result, the service was arranged with many special references to important moments throughout René and Celine’s life together.

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It was held at the same church the two said ‘I do’ at in 1994, and People reveals that Celine’s niece Audrey and nephew Jimmy, who acted as ringbearers for the couple 21 years ago, led the processional at the funeral service on Friday.

Audrey pushed Jimmy – who was left quadriplegic after an accident – in his wheelchair, directly towards the casket where Rene lay. Jimmy held the same pillow he had carried at Celine and René’s wedding, which had previously held the couple’s rings.

Celine, who also attended an emotional memorial for her brother Daniel the day after Rene’s funeral, did not sing at her husband’s funeral. Instead, René had selected several of his favourite songs by Celine – including ‘All The Way’ and ‘L’Amour Existe Encore’ (Love Still Exists) – to be played during the service.

Rene passed away at the age of 73 on January 14, at the family home in Las Vegas.

René and Celine got married in 1994 at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal – the same place René’s funeral was held on Friday.

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