Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Future monarchs remember a past president

The state memorial service for Nelson Mandela has taken place in Johannesburg, at the stadium where Nelson Mandela made his last public appearance.  The FNB is known as Soccer City and it's where the former president, the man called 'father' by current president Jacob Zuma, last formally saw the people who now remember him.  He was there to see the end of the football World Cup in 2010 - a tournament that could never have been played in South Africa without Mandela's presidency.  And as his country said goodbye to the man they came to revere, royals from around Europe joined them in their mourning.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden at the memorial service held for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg on December 10th 2013
The stadium holds 95,000 people but just 80, 000 were allowed in with around 120,000 watching on screens in nearby stadia.   King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Philippe of the Belgians, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Prince Felipe of Asturias were all present as the service got under way.  Britain was represented by Prime Minister, David Cameron, but Prince Charles will attend Nelson Mandela's private funeral in his hometown of Qunu on Sunday.  Other royals are expected there too.
Prince Haakon of Norway arrives at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela held on the outskirts of Soweto on December 10th 2013

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