The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance at the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom premiere. Find out how they leanred of the former President's death...
Kate Middleton and Prince William found out about the death of Nelson Mandela while they were watching a movie about his life story in Leicester Square last night.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were the royal attendees to the UK premiere of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, where they met members of the former President’s family. Moments before the end of the film, Prince William was told by an aide of Mandela’s passing. He then gave a moving speech at the end of the film, when questioned by reporters.
With Duchess Kate by his side, the Duke said that the news was ‘extremely sad and tragic. He added: ‘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.’
Kate Middleton, dressed in an ivory Roland Mouret gown with a high street Zara necklace, spoke to Mandela’s daughter Zindzi on the red carpet prior to the screening. Zindzi Mandela had been telling reporters how she was hoping to see more of her father.
The Duke and Duchess were joined at the premiere by the film’s stars, Idris Elba, who plays a young Mandela, and Naomie Harris, who plays his wife Winnie.
South African leader Jacob Zuma last night made the announcement of the era’s death, revealing that he had passed away peacefully in the company of his family.
He said: ‘Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.’
Last night crowds began to gather outside Nelson Mandela’s home, filling the gates with messages and floral tributes.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner will receive a state funeral and national flags will be lowered at half-mast.
We’ll bring you more on Mandela and details of his funeral later this morning.