Westminster Abbey is to honour Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa, with a memorial ledger stone in the Abbey church.
Later today (Monday 3rd March 2014) nearly two thousand people will gather in the Abbey for a service to celebrate the Life and Work of Nelson Mandela.
HRH Prince Harry will represent HM The Queen at the service which will also be attended by Prime Minister, the Right Honourable David Cameron MP, the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu.
In an announcement timed to coincide with the Abbey service, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said that later this year a ledger stone would be dedicated to the memory of the former South African president.
Dr Hall said: ‘Nelson Mandela was one of the most remarkable world leaders of the last century. His remarkable constancy under suffering stand as an example to everyone. In addition, his capacity for forgiveness and his generosity of spirit show what humanity at its best can achieve. The peaceful transition to universal democracy in South Africa and the work of reconciliation between divided communities that followed were overwhelmingly the work of this one man. His memorial in Westminster Abbey, justified in itself, standing amongst memorials to many of the greatest men and women of the world, not all of them British, will also prove to be a focus of contemplation and prayer for the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation in many communities and places in our troubled world.’
Nelson Mandela, the former President of the Republic of South Africa who died on 5th December last year aged 95, was welcomed to the Abbey in July 1996 when, during a State Visit, he laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.