One of Rene Angelil’s final acts of love for his wife, Celine Dion, was to take away the burden and pain of organizing his funeral.
The ceremony, taking place on Friday at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, was planned by Rene himself in the months before his death following a long battle with throat cancer. The Notre-Dame Basilica holds special significance for the couple as they exchanged vows there in 1994.
Thousands of fans are expected to attend the event, and even law enforcement will be showing their support. While the police force has been wearing camouflage in protest over unfair wages, they will wear their uniforms for the funeral out of respect for Rene and Celine, who are considered royalty.
Fans unable to attend will be able to watch the ceremony on Canadian television.
Angelil died on Jan. 14 just before what would have been his 74th birthday on Jan. 16. In the hours after his death, Celine canceled her performances at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. The GRAMMY winner is not expected to sing at the funeral.
There was more sad news for Celine when just two days after losing her husband, her brother, Daniel, also died. Daniel suffered from brain, tongue and throat cancer.
Daniel’s memorial service will be held at Salon Charles Rajotte in Repentigny on Jan. 23, followed by a funeral a few days later at St-Simon-et-Jude in Charlemagne, Quebec, where the family was raised.