Britain bids final adieu to 'Iron Lady'

Apr 18, 2013, 06:06 IST | Agencies

The funeral of Margaret Thatcher, Britain's only woman prime minister, was held yesterday and was attended by Queen Elizabeth II, two heads of state and 11 prime ministers from across the world.

Dubbed the ‘Iron Lady’, Thatcher died on April 8 at the age of 87, following a stroke. Her funeral took place at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London. Her coffin, covered by a union flag, was taken by gun carriage to the cathedral, reported the BBC.

The last journey: Personnel from three branches of the military carry the coffin of Margaret Thatcher out of St Paul’s Cathedral at the end of her ceremonial funeral in central London yesterday. Pic/AFP

Over 2,000 people attended the funeral. Though a protest was staged along the route of the funeral procession, the crowd included thousands of well-wishers. About 4,000 police personnel were lined up along the route to ensure security. Flags on government buildings were lowered to half-mast, and the Big Ben on the Parliament Tower was set to be silenced for the funeral.

Before the funeral, Prime Minister David Cameron said he “learnt a huge amount from watching” Thatcher at work, and today he felt “a great pride in all that she achieved, tinged with sadness”. Thatcher was the longest-serving prime minister of Britain during the last century, being in office for 11 years from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher kept away from public appearances due to poor health. Her husband Denis died in 2003. Her children Mark and Carol both live abroad.  

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