Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner looked devastated Thursday as she presided over the funeral of her husband, former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner, DPA reported.
It was her first public appearance since Nestor Kirchner, who preceded his wife as Argentine leader from 2003-7, died suddenly Wednesday, of a massive heart attack, in the Patagonian town of El Calafate.
Fernandez de Kirchner stood alongside her adult children, Maximo and Florencia, by the casket containing the remains of her husband. The funeral was held at the government palace in central Buenos Aires, and a crowd was queuing for nearly 1 kilometre to pay their last respects to Kirchner and show their support for his wife.
Dressed in black and wearing large dark sunglasses, Fernandez de Kirchner did not say a word on her way to a spot next to the closed casket, where she received the greetings of famous personalities and regular citizens.
The most emotional moments came when a man shouted, "Long live Cristina, long live Nestor," and her daughter, who arrived from the United States only hours earlier, hugged the president.
Kirchner's sister, Social Development Minister Alicia Kirchner, was also present to receive condolences.
Fernandez de Kirchner returned to Buenos Aires from El Calafate, some 2,800 kilometres southwest of the capital, in the early hours of Thursday.
Kirchner is to be buried Saturday in his native city, the Patagonian Rio Gallegos.