According to Zelda le Grange’s memoir Good Morning, Mr Mandela, Madiba had a warm relationship with Queen Elizabeth.
While most mortals would address the queen as “your majesty” and subsequently “ma’am”, Mandela called her by her first name.
“I was struck by the warm friendship between Madiba and the queen,” wrote Le Grange, who served as Mandela’s private secretary for more than a decade.
“‘Oh, Elizabeth,’ he would say when he greeted her, and she would respond: Hello, Nelson’.”
“I think he was one of the very few people who called her by her first name and she seemed to be amused by it.”
After Mandela’s death the queen paid tribute to him, saying she fondly remembered “with great warmth my meetings with Mr Mandela”.