British royal Prince William has paid his respects to Nelson Mandela after learning of the human rights icon's death, while attending the London premiere of the film inspired by the former South African leader's biography.

William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, attended the Royal Film Performance of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on Thursday night (05Dec13) alongside the stars of the movie and members of Mandela's family.

Upon hearing the sad news, William said, "We are just reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now."

Across London, outside his home in Downing Street, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron called Mandela "one of the brightest lights of our world".

He added, "Nelson Mandela was not just a hero of our time but a hero of all time."