Some people flocked to Mandela's home still wearing their pajamas. Many who showed up to pay their respects were understandably overcome with grief.
"I'm disappointed. I'm said," Mandela supporter Thumelo Madikwe told ABC News. "But at the same time, I think he's had his part in life and he did it very well. It's fine that he goes. He did all he could."
Mandela's youngest daughters, Zindzi and Zenani, were attending the Royal Premiere of the new biopic, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," when they learned of his death.
"They received the news of their father's passing during the screening and immediately left the cinema," the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement.
After the Mandela photo montage played over the credits, the house lights came up at the Odeon Leicester Square theater and an announcement was made and a moment of silence was observed by the cast, including the film's star Idris Elba, who played Mandela.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also on hand for the premiere and apparently learned of Mandela's death while the movie was in progress. They left after the credits.
Mandela was surrounded by family when he passed away Thursday.
ABC News' and Alexander Marquardt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.