'Style, grace, class': Mulroney extols the Reagans
Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, March 11, 2016 3:11PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 11, 2016 6:15PM EST
Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney paid a touching tribute to former U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan at her funeral Friday by reading a letter her husband, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, wrote to her during their first Christmas together in the White House.
Mulroney, who had a close relationship with the Reagans, read the letter dated Dec. 25, 1981, in which the president described all the different women he felt his wife embodied – “mommy,” First Lady, “fun you,” and “sentimental you.”
Reagan finished off the letter by saying, in part, “There could be no life for me, without you.”
He signed it, “With all my love, lucky me.”
Mulroney said the relationship between Ronald and Nancy Reagan was “a love story for the ages.”
“As First Couple, Ron and Nancy Reagan represented America with great distinction,” he told the mourners who gathered for the service in Simi Valley, Calif. “They had a magnificent sense of occasion. They had style, they had grace and they had class. “
Nancy Reagan died Sunday at age 94. Dozens of dignitaries attended her funeral on Friday, including First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President George W. Bush, and Hillary Clinton.
Mulroney and Ronald Reagan both served in office during the 1980s, and their wives also became friends. The two couples hosted each other in Ottawa and Washington, D.C., and even took holidays together.
Mulroney recalled a previously shared story from one of the Reagans’ visits to Ottawa. He and Reagan were waiting for their wives in an airport hangar and when their car pulled up and Nancy Reagan stepped out, the president “beamed,” Mulroney said.
“He threw his arm around my shoulder, and he said with a grin, ‘You know Brian, for two Irishmen, we sure married up,’” Mulroney said to laughter from the audience.
Mulroney said he wanted to share that story again because it “reflects a unique Reagan reality.
“She really always was on his mind.”