British Queen Presides over Thatcher Funeral

World | April 17, 2013, Wednesday // 16:39|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

The solemn ceremony in honor of the late British PM Margaret Thatcher, held in London Wednesday in the attendance of more than 2,000 dignitaries from around the world, is now over.

The procession was led by Queen Elizabeth II, with the congregation at St Paul's including Thatcher's family and all surviving British PMs - Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Sir John Major - the current cabinet and surviving members of Thatcher's governments, writes the BBC.

A ceremonial funeral, which is just a step down from a full state funeral, the ritual was Britain's biggest since the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002.

In 1965, Winston Churchill was Britain's last PM to receive a full state funeral.

"After the storm of a life led in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm," said the right reverend Chartres, Bishop of London, who led the memorial service.

"The storm of conflicting opinions centres on the Mrs Thatcher who became a symbolic figure - even an ism. Today the remains of the real Margaret Hilda Thatcher are here at her funeral service. Lying here, she is one of us, subject to the common destiny of all human beings," added he.

Chancellor George Osborne appeared to wipe away a tear as the Bishop of London reflected on Lady Thatcher's life, reports the BBC.

PM David Cameron only briefly commented on fellow conservative Thatcher's political work, and the proceed to read from the Bible, as was the desire of the late PM.

Although Lady Thatcher's death occasioned the reopening of a sharp debate about the merits of her political legacy for Britain, the ceremonial funeral was not marred by protesters.

Some people, however, showed up at the procession only to turn their backs as the hearse was passing by.

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Tags: british, Britain, UK, conservative, Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron, Queen Elizabeth II, London, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, John Major, funeral, Winston Churchill


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