Queen 'deeply saddened' by Mandela's death

Queen Elizabeth II said Friday she was "deeply saddened" by the death of Nelson Mandela, adding that he had "worked tirelessly for the good of his country".

"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," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"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."

Prince Charles also paid tribute to the iconic anti-apartheid fighter, describing him as an "inspired leader and a great man".

"Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation. He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life," he said.

"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."