Duchess Kate and Prince William were among the most dazzling stars on the red carpet for the royal premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on Thursday night in London, just hours before the beloved South African leader's death was announced.
Mandela died at age 95 in his Johannesburg home after a long decline. A daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, said Wednesday that her father was on his "deathbed" but still fighting, according to the Associated Press.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were told the news while they were watching the movie; William later spoke to reporters, saying the film had reminded "what an extraordinary and inspiring man" Mandela had been.
"I just wanted to say it's extremely sad and tragic news," William said according to tweets by royal reporter Richard Palmer. "My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. It's very sad."
Royal reporter Katie Nicholl said there was a standing ovation in the theater after the movie ended.
"We were delivered the news as the credits rolled," she tweeted from the theater. "Silence here in the cinema where the royal couple have just watched Mandela. RIP"
Mandela death was announced in South Africa after the glittery premiere of the bio-pic about him, where the Will and Kate helped raise money for one of Mandela's charities.
The duchess wore a creamy, close-fitting gown by Roland Mouret that she has worn before, most recently at a dinner at Claridges last year. Her hair was pulled up and back in a loose ponytail, and there were no telltale gray strands.
Around her neck was a sparkly collar-style necklace that attracted a lot of interest among royal reporters on Twitter.
"If anyone can help ID the Duchess's blingtastic necklace tonight I would be grateful," tweeted the Daily Mail's Rebecca English.
The Royal Film Performance is a fundraising event for a British charity, the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. Also benefiting from this year's performance is the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, which supports the children of South Africa.
Before the film, the couple met with one of Nelson Mandela's daughters, Zindzi Mandela, and with members of the cast and crew, including Idris Elba (Nelson Mandela), Naomie Harris (Winnie Mandela), and director Justin Chadwick.
The duchess' appearance was only slightly dressed down compared to two nights ago, when she wore a royal tiara to a white-tie diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace.
But it was a big step up from the day before, when she was snapped in a casual baseball cap and jeggings while walking in Kensington Gardens with Prince George in a $600 baby buggy. Her dog, Lupo, was there, too.
The baby wasn't visible in the paparazzi shot, but royal commentators said on Twitter he was ensconced in a quilted Silver Cross Elegance pram in navy blue. It's pricey but not as pricey as some other Silver Cross pushchairs, as they are called over there, or as much as other brands such as Bugaboo.
Wearing gloves, a light jacket, a gray T-shirt and running shoes, she took a stroll in the always-bustling gardens next to Kensington Palace, her new home. The pictures show other people walking nearby, seemingly unaware of her, although at one point she waves at someone off camera. Black cocker spaniel Lupo follows behind unleashed and sniffing at everything.