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Duchess of Cambridge ‘in tears’ after hearing news of Nelson Mandela’s death

The Duchess of Cambridge was moved to tears after it was announced Nelson Mandela had died on Thursday evening.

New mum Kate, who was attending the premiere of ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’ with husband Prince William, became emotional after being informed of the former South African president’s passing by an aide.

“Kate was very emotional, she was in tears and very moved by the events,” Harvey Weinstein, the film’s executive producer explained. “We all were.”


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were both moved after hearing the news of Nelson Mandela’s death. [Photo: BBC]

He added: “There is nothing to describe the momentousness of what happened. The Duke and Duchess handled themselves very elegantly.”

The royal couple were told of the news moments before the film’s first screening had finished in Leicester Square and the couple quickly prepared themselves to make a short statement to the media.

Harvey Weinstein praised the way the Duke of Cambridge handled himself, despite being emotional about the iconic leader’s death.

“I spoke to them downstairs in the foyer after the movie,” he said. “William was deeply touched by the news, you could see it in his face, but he was being very courageous.”

Speaking after the premiere, William paid tribute to Nelson Mandela in a brief, but touching, message to reporters.

With the Duchess by his side, the Duke of Cambridge told reporters: “We were just reminded of what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now.”

Earlier this week, The Queen revealed how she was shocked at the timing of the inspirational figure’s passing, which coincided with the world premiere of a new film 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.”