Queen Elizabeth II and Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa on the occasion of the queen's visit to his country in 1995
Friday, 6 December 2013
My friend, Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II and Nelson Mandela met many times. She paid a visit to South Africa just a year after he was elected as his country's first black president and he paid a state visit to Great Britain just twelve months later. And the closeness of their friendship is perhaps best summed up by the words of Mandela himself. My dear friend, Elizabeth - that's how he described the Queen of Great Britain. Today, the Queen has issued a message of condolence, signed personally, on hearing of his death. Her public grief is as official as ever but there is no doubt that her private mourning for this man who changed the world will be deep.