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Queen to attend funeral of Baroness Thatcher

Queen to attend funeral of Baroness Thatcher

THE Queen will attend the funeral next week of Baroness Thatcher.

The ceremonial funeral for the former prime minister, who passed away after suffering a stroke on Monday, will take place in London next Wednesday, April 17.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh will attend the service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

While it will not be a state funeral, Lady Thatcher is being accorded the same status as the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, with full military honours forming part of the arrangements.

The ceremonial route to St. Paul’s will be lined by members of the armed forces. Lady Thatcher’s coffin will be carried for the final part of the journey on a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery. The Service will be followed by a private cremation.

In accordance with her wishes, Baroness Thatcher’s body will not lie in state.

Mrs. Thatcher became Britain’s first woman prime minister when she led the Conservative party to victory in the 1979 election. She was to become the longest-serving prime minister for over 150 years after remaining in office until 1990.

During her years in Downing Street, Mrs. Thatcher introduced massive changes which were to transform the economic standing of the country. But in the early years her tough policies resulted in thousands of jobs being lost in coal mining and manufacturing.

The Soviet army newspaper Red Star was to call her The Iron Lady, but it was an appropriate title for a woman who was to remain firm in the face of criticism and adversity (see below).

Throughout her time in office, Mrs. Thatcher never shrank from a battle, whether it was over laws to break union powers or plans for a single European currency (see below).

When Argentina invaded the Falklands in 1982, Mrs. Thatcher sent a naval taskforce to the South Atlantic to return the islands to British control. During the conflict the Argentine naval vessel The General Belgrano was sunk by a British submarine. The Prime Minister faced severe criticism over the sinking, but she remained adamant that the action had been justified (see below).

One of her toughest moments came in 1984 when the IRA came very close to assassinating the Prime Minister when a bomb exploded at the Grand Hotel in Brighton where the Tory party conference was being held.

Prime Minister David Cameron led the many tributes to Baroness Thatcher.

He said: “Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds. The real thing is she didn’t just lead our country; she saved our country. I believe she will go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister.”

Baroness Thatcher is survived by her children, Mark and Carol. Her husband, Sir Denis, passed away in 2003.

To view an excerpt from a speech in which Mrs. Thatcher refused to change her policies, click here.

To hear the Prime Minister rule out European plans for a single currently, click here.

To view part of an interview in which Mrs. Thatcher discussed the sinking of the General Belgrano, click here.

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