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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Britain’s Iron Lady Laid to Rest

Britain’s Iron Lady Laid to Rest
Britain’s Iron Lady Laid to Rest

(London) – Thousands of well-wishers applauded Margaret Thatcher’s coffin as it passed through the streets of London on Wednesday before a funeral filled with pomp and splendor for Britain’s polarizing former prime minister. Queen Elizabeth II led the British establishment and representatives of 170 countries in bidding farewell at St Paul’s Cathedral to the Iron Lady, who had a profound impact on her country and helped end the Cold War.
But in a sign of the bitterness her legacy still provokes at home, several hundred protesters turned their backs as her funeral cortege went by, booing and chanting “Maggie, Maggie Maggie! Dead, dead, dead!” Tens of thousands of members of the public turned out to watch Thatcher’s coffin travel from parliament to St Paul’s, many breaking into spontaneous applause and throwing flowers.
Some 700 soldiers, sailors and airmen in full ceremonial uniform lined the route as the coffin was carried first by hearse and then by horse-drawn gun carriage, as a military band played funeral marches.
Some 4,000 police officers were deployed along the procession, amid heightened security following the bombings at the Boston Marathon and fears of disruption by left-wing groups.
At the cathedral, Queen Elizabeth II led the mourners countries in a rare tribute from the monarch, who had not attended a prime ministerial funeral since Winston Churchill died in 1965.
Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of Thatcher’s Conservative party, led a cast of three former premiers — John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — and politicians from across the political divide.
Global figures including Thatcher’s fellow Cold War warrior Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, and showbusiness stars Joan Collins and Shirley Bassey joined the former prime minister’s family in paying their respects.

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