In the UK for a week of celebrations ahead of his 90th birthday next month, retired elder statesman Nelson Mandela was as at ease as ever when he welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown to his hotel suite on Tuesday. Indeed, the former South African president was so at home with the premier and his wife Sarah he'd removed his shoes, and received the couple in stockinged feet.
During their visit the couple presented Mr Mandela with a birthday card from their sons, four-year-old John and Fraser, one, which the the former leader was visibly delighted with.
On Wednesday the 89-year-old is hosting a charity dinner for 500 guests, including rock icon Elton John, who'll serenade him with a rendition of Happy Birthday, former US President Bill Clinton, TV host Oprah Winfrey and funnyman Will Smith. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is preparing a banquet for the event, which will double up as an auction expected to raise £1 million for Mr Mandela's Aids charity.
At the end of the week he'll be guest of honour at a huge benefit concert in Hyde Park to mark his milestone birthday. Friday's gig will feature performances by Bleeding Love chanteuse Leona Lewis and rock legends Queen. Troubled jazz sensation Amy Winehouse is also on the lineup of acts invited to participate.