The British Royal Family have spoke of their sadness at the death of Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95 at his home in South Africa on Thursday evening.
Her Majesty The Queen explained she was “deeply saddened” to learn of the former South African president’s passing.
A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “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.
“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 message was signed ‘Elizabeth R’ adding a personal touch showing the strong bond the two inspirational leaders had. Nelson Mandela once described the 87-year-old monarch as a “dear friend” and there has been early speculation The Queen may attend the state funeral herself.
Prince Charles also honoured the iconic figure as news of his death was met with great sadness across the world.
“Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation,” the Prince of Wales said in a statement. “He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life. With his passing, there will be an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all South Africans.
“The world has lost an inspired leader and a great man. My family and I are profoundly saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
The news of Nelson Mandela’s death was announced as the premiere of the new biopic ‘Mandela’ had its world premiere in Leicester Square, which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Speaking, only moments after being informed of his passing, Prince William made an emotional tribute to the inspirational figure describing the news as “very sad”.
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.”