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The Queen and royals reveal sadness over death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met the anti-apartheid hero in 2019

The Queen and royal family have expressed their deep sadness at the death of anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has sadly passed away aged 90.

Archbishop Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1984 for his part in helping to end the apartheid system in South Africa, died on Boxing Day.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a driving force in ending apartheid 

The Queen released the following statement: "I am joined by the whole Royal Family in being deeply saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who tirelessly championed human rights in South Africa and across the world.

"I remember with fondness my meetings with him and his great warmth and humour. Archbishop Tutu’s loss will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many people in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth, where he was held in such high affection and esteem."

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The Queen with the Archbishop in 2013

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met the Archbishop in back in 2019, during their royal tour of South Africa. It was one of the first times royal fans saw their son Archie, who enjoyed having tea with his parents and Desmond Tutu.

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take baby Archie to meet Desmond Tutu on royal tour

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The Archbishop meeting baby Archie in Cape Town

A statement on behalf of Desmond's family from Dr Ramphela Mamphele, acting chairperson of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust, read: "Ultimately, at the age of 90, he died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town this morning," reports Sky News.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared a tribute, posting on Twitter: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa - and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour."

In South Africa, the nation's president Cyril Ramaphosa said the Archbishop's death marked "another chapter of bereavement in our nation's farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans". Like the late Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu fought to end racial segregation in the country.

Ramaphosa added: "A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world."

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