British royal Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge broke down in tears when she was told the news of Nelson Mandela's death at the royal premiere of his biopic, according to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The Duchess and her husband Prince William both attended the screening of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in London on Thursday night (05Dec13), and they were alerted to the civil rights icon's passing during the event.

The film's executive producer, Weinstein, was also at the premiere when the story broke, and he has now revealed the sad news took its toll on the Duchess.

He tells Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "'Kate was very emotional, she was in tears and very moved by the events. We all were. There is nothing to describe the momentousness of what happened. The Duke and Duchess handled themselves very elegantly. I spoke to them downstairs in the foyer after the movie. William was deeply touched by the news, you could see it in his face, but he was being very courageous."

The news broke while the movie was playing, but most of the guests were not told until the end of the film, when producer Anant Singh took to the stage along with director Justin Chadwick and the film's star, Idris Elba, to request a minute's silence.

The premiere's after party was cancelled as a mark of respect to the former South African president.