Global tributes to Nelson Mandela

The great and the good of the world stage have been united in grief today, as news of Nelson Mandela's death spreads across the globe.

The beloved statesman, who brought peace and equality to South Africa, died last night aged 95.

Now tributes from across the world have poured in for Mandela.

Queen of England said she is 'deeply saddened' to learn of Nelson Mandela's death, saying the former South African president 'worked tirelessly for the good of his country'.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: '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.
'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.'

Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'Nelson Mandela showed us the true meaning of courage, hope, and reconciliation.'
'My heart goes out to his family - and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage.'

'A great light has gone out in the world,' Cameron said. 'Nelson Mandela was a hero of out time.

President Barack Obama has paid an emotional tribute to his personal hero Nelson Mandela, saying he could not imagine life without the former South African President.
Speaking shortly after the death of the civil rights leader was announced, Mr Obama said now is the time for people to pause and honor the fact 'that Nelson Mandela lived.

He said: 'Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my life without the example that Nelson Mandela set.'

'He no longer belongs to us - he belongs to the ages,' Mr Obama said from the White House briefing room.

Former South African president F.W. de Klerk, who was the last white president of the country before Mandela came to power, had nothing but praise for the 'father' of the country.

'He made reconciliation happen in South Africa,' Mr de Klerk told CNN

'There was an immediate I would say a spark between the two of us.

'I always respected him and I always liked him as a person he was a magnanimous person, he was a compassionate person.

Mandela's South African comrade Desmond Tutu, the first black Archbishop of Cape Town, wrote an article on his friend's passing, saying that the world was a better place because of Mandela.

'He was not only an amazing gift to humankind, he made South Africans and Africans feel good about being who we are. He made us walk tall,' Mr Tutu said.

Echoing Mr Obama's speech, all of the living U.S. presidents made statements of their own about Mandela.

UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon tweeted that he would never forget Mandela's 'selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose'.

Muhammad Ali, a champion for civil rights himself, said he was 'deeply saddened' to hear about Madiba's passing.

'What I will remember most about Mr Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge,' Ali said. 'He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free.'
Ali met with Mandela on several occasions, and the South African leader never shied away from pretending to punch the legendary boxer for a good photo.

Many world leaders and celebrities who met Mandela, posted pictures of themselves with the legendary leader.