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'He's on first name terms with the queen'

  • Story Highlights
  • Mandela's grandchildren reveal the lessons he has taught them
  • Humility, patience, wisdom among qualities listed
  • Mandela also on first name terms with Britain's queen, they say
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(CNN) -- He may be on first name terms with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, but Nelson Mandela would never let his status go to his head.

This is one of the many lessons the former South African president has passed on to his grandchildren, who -- in a series of exclusive interviews with CNN -- reveal a man dedicated to instilling his family with his own boundless humility.

"Over the years he has taught me patience, wisdom. Taught us as grandchildren to be patient," says Mandla, who at 33 is Mandela's oldest grandson.

"We look at other people. That what ever we do in life, you look at him. Although, things are going bad the outcome can always be great. He's taught you a lot of insight."

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Adds Zinhle, the daughter of Mandela's oldest son Thembi, who died in a 1969 car crash: "Over the years he has taught me patience, wisdom. Taught us as grandchildren to be patient.

"We look at other people. That what ever we do in life, you look at him. Although, things are going bad the outcome can always be great. He's taught you a lot of insight."

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