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Prince Charles to attend Nelson Mandela funeral

A boy places a floral tributes outside the home of former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg

A boy places a floral tributes outside the home of former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg

Prince Charles will attend the funeral of former South African president Nelson Mandela next Sunday.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said he would be representing the Queen at the service in Qunu, South Africa, on December 15, while Prime Minister David Cameron has said on Twitter that he will be at Mr Mandela’s memorial service tomorrow.

Last night, 53 heads of state, government and ministers were on the list to attend.

Last week a statement from Buckingham Palace had said the Queen was “deeply saddened” by his death, adding: “He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today.”

Prince Charles and Prince Harry visited South Africa in 1997 and met Mr Mandela at his Pretoria residence.

The previous year, Prince Charles had hosted Mr Mandela on a visit to Brixton during his first state visit to the UK.

The official memorial service will take place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, the South African government said, and the government website said it would be attended by members of the public as well as heads of state.

“This will give ordinary people and public leaders an opportunity to celebrate Madiba’s life collectively,” it said in the statement, using the clan name Mr Mandela was affectionately known by. A state funeral will be held days later.

The Archbishop of Canterbury also praised Mr Mandela for his courage at a service of thanksgiving yesterday.

The Most Rev Justin Welby told a congregation at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square the 95-year-old was the “rarest of leaders” as he thanked God for his life.

He read: “Nelson Mandela showed his courage by his determination in the face of evil and by his humanity in the experience of victory...

“He was that rarest of leaders, those who learn from terrible events so as to exhaust all their lessons, rather than being shaped by them into bitterness and hatred.”

 

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