We were deeply saddened by the news of Nelson Mandela’s passing this evening. It is such a dark shadow cast over such a wonderful event. We hope that his legacy and fight for freedom is carried on in the future, and know he will not be soon forgotten.
To honor his truly magnificent life, we are encouraged to donate to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Nelson Mandela’s family members were informed immediately. Aides informed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the film. The news of Mandela’s passing was publicly announced at the end of the film, as the credits rolled. A two-minute silence followed. The audience was visibly shaken by this emotional turn of events.
The Duke of Cambridge, with his wife beside him, gave the following statement: “”I just want to say its obviously extremely sad and tragic news. We’re just reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now. Thank you.”
This evening, Kate and William glammed up the red carpet at the London premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the Odeon theatre in Leicester Square. According to the IMDB biography, the film is “a chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.” Nelson Mandela’s story is particularly poignant, given his recent illness and hospital treatments. The film stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris in this powerful biographical film.
This was truly a glittering event. Stars of the film, including Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, weren’t the only ones strutting their stuff. Close friends and family of Nelson Mandela were also in attendance. The film’s director Justin Chadwick and writer Bill Nicholson both looked dapper, as did the other guests, actors, cast and crew of the film’s premiere.
William and Kate arrived on the red carpet around 7:15 and were greeted by cheers and camera flashes. The high-profile event was filled with celebrity arrivals, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were the stars of the show. Before entering the theatre for the premiere, their royal highnesses met with Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela, the film’s cast and crew, and trustees from the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, who hosted the event. They had a brief chat before entering the theatre.
Kate wore a floor length ivory gown by Roland Mouret. We have seen the dress before in May 2012 at an event at Claridges. Kate upped the glam factor in what is being called her chicest look yet. The neutral gown was the perfect venue for major bling in the form of a statement necklace by high street designer ZARA. WWKD Twitter friend @DuchessPT noted that the necklace is similar in style to traditional African necklaces, making it a perfect accessory for this event.
She also stayed on trend with a voluminous ponytail – a look that frequented the fashion runways – tied up with a pretty bow. Kate accessorized with black suede shoes by Prada and a black clutch by Mulberry (thanks to Ashley for the clutch ID!). She surprisingly opted not to wear earrings.
William was extra dashing beside her, wearing a black tux and very fashionable velvet smoking slippers!
Thank you for starting the post with an acknowledgement of Mandela’s passing rather than treating it as a “funny coincidence.” I’ve just been on another Kate blog where the news was buried as a short passing comment towards the end of the post. I think the Duke and Duchess would appreciate the focus you put on the loss of a great leader, over and above the fashion coverage.