This evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were present at the premiere of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom when the announcement that the former South African President had died was made to the world.
Prince William made a short off-the-cuff speech to the media at the end of the premiere in which he said: “I just want to say it’s obviously extremely sad and tragic news. We’re 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.”
Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela was at the premiere of the Mandela film at the time the announcement was made. The Duke and Duchess met her at the start of the premiere.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were informed of Mandela’s death by aides during the film and the couple were reportedly visibly shocked at the news of his death.
The Queen is expected to send a message of condolence to the family of Nelson Mandela very soon.
It was announced earlier that the former South African President would be accorded a State Funeral in South Africa – it is likely a member of the British Royal Family will be sent as a representative to the funeral. Because of the relationship she shared with Mandela, there’s speculation that The Queen herself may go, though the travel distance could curb this option for The Queen.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall typically represent Her Majesty in her absence at state events.