As London braced itself for a historic storm last night, there turned out to be a gravely different impact around the globe. The world shook with tremors of sorrow as news of the death of Nelson Mandela, who was 95, emerged last night. An indefatigable fighter against apartheid in South Africa, he was an icon known for his warmness and magnanimity, but most strikingly, his ability to forgive.
Leaders from around the world all claimed to have been inspired by the man affectionately nicknamed Madiba – David Cameron spoke of Mandela as ‘a towering figure’. He was a London student – while in prison Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London External Programme.
In a surprising, yet apt turn of events, Mandela’s two youngest daughters were in London watching the premiere of new biopic ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘ when they found out about his death, while the audience was told as the credits rolled. Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance at the Odeon in Leceister Square, and afterwards the Duke paid his tributes, describing Mandela as an ‘extraordinary and inspiring man’. Afterwards, there was a vigil outside the South African embassy in London.
If you want to pay your respects to the late, great man, here are some of your options:
There will be a vigil to salute the life of Nelson Mandela this evening at 6pm in Trafalgar Square, London. Action for Southern Africa (formerly the Anti-Apartheid Movement) will join with mourners outside South Africa House in Trafalgar Square.
St Paul’s will make a number of special arrangements at this evening’s 5pm Choral Evensong service.
Flowers and candles are being left in memory of Nelson Mandela outside the South African High Commission in London. You can add to the tributes.
You can go and pay your respects at the South Bank Centre’s powerful sculpture of Mandela.
You can leave comments in the Mandela condolence book at the South African embassy. There’s already a queue, and David Cameron has added his thoughts:
The statue of Nelson Mandela at Parliament Square in London , which was unveiled in August 2007.
Meanwhile, many embassies and charities including the Red Cross will be flying their flags at half mast in London today in honour of Nelson Mandela. Peter Yeung