The Queen has revealed she found it “extraordinary” Nelson Mandela died on the same evening as a film premiered in London about his life.
Speaking on Friday as she visited the Houses of Parliament, the 87-year-old monarch explained her surprise as grandson Prince William and wife the Duchess of Cambridge were at the screening of ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’, in which his death was announced shortly after.
“It was extraordinary because William and Catherine were at a film last night, which was the film about his life,” she said. “The news came at the end.”
“They (William and Kate) were clapping like mad and somebody came on and said can you just listen please, we have heard he has died.
“It is amazing isn’t it. During the first night of his film.”
Her majesty’s comments come after it was revealed she was “deeply saddened” about the former South African’s passing on Thursday evening.
In a statement released on Friday morning the Queen recalled the “great warmth” of her meetings with Mr Mandela, of who called Elizabeth a “dear friend”.
“The Queen was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela last night. He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today,” the statement read.
“Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time.”
The iconic figure’s funeral is to take place in South Africa on December 15, and a member of the British Royal Family will attend.