World news story

Death of Nelson Mandela

UK Condolence messages

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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THE QUEEN

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 PRINCE OF WALES

“Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation. He was a man of great honour 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 and the many others whose lives have been changed through his fight for peace, justice and freedom.”

“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 PRIME MINISTER

“A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death - a true global hero. Across the country he loved they will be mourning a man who was the embodiment of grace. Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life. My heart goes out to his family - and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage.”

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

“Our thoughts go out to the people of South Africa who will be left heartbroken by this sad news.

Every so often history produces an individual whose message is universal, and Nelson Mandela will be mourned and missed on every continent around the globe. The hope he offered was enough to unite races; it bridged cultures and transcended generations; and it could heal the deepest divides.

That hope must now live on. Nelson Mandela’s legacy will continue to burn brightly, there is little doubt about that. But our greatest tribute to him will be our commitment to equality, humanity and peace - the values for which he very literally put his life on the line.”

THE FOREIGN SECRETARY

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest moral and political leaders of our time. His life story is a compelling and inspiringly profound political journey. An international icon and inspiration to millions, his appeal transcended race, religion and class. He was at once a leader of immense character and strength, and a man closely attuned to the needs of his people.

Nelson Mandela once wrote, “I don’t think there is much history can say about me.” Yet he will be remembered forever for his lifelong fight against racial oppression, not least during his 27 years of incarceration, and as the first freely elected leader of a multi-racial South Africa. His name will echo down the ages for his immense contribution to his country, to Africa, and to the world, and his tireless work for peace and reconciliation. He set a powerful example to us of sacrifice and enormous fortitude. His courage, humility and sense of forgiveness have secured his place in history. He will be greatly missed across the world.”

Published 9 December 2013