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Margaret Thatcher funeral set for April 17 and to be attended by Queen Elizabeth II


Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 17, Downing Street has announced today.

Former British PM Margaret Thatcher died on Monday, April 8, after suffering a series of strokes.

The funeral ceremony, with full military honors, will take place at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, following a procession from Westminster.

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will attend the service, Buckingham Palace said.

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 17

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 17

Margaret Thatcher will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.

A ceremonial funeral is one rung down from a state funeral – normally reserved for monarchs – and requires the consent of the Queen.

A Downing Street spokesman said the details had been agreed at a “co-ordination meeting” between the Thatcher family and Buckingham Palace on Tuesday morning.

Baroness Thatcher, a Conservative, was Britain’s first female prime minister. She was in office from 1979 to 1990, winning three successive general elections.

She died “peacefully” after suffering a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in central London. Lady Thatcher had been staying at the hotel since being discharged from hospital at the end of last year.

An undertaker’s van carrying a silver casket left the hotel early on Tuesday morning for an undisclosed location.

Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess this Wednesday to enable MPs and peers to pay tributes.

But Labour MP John Mann said: “I do not know why we are wasting taxpayers’ money on an additional session.

“It is perfectly valid that, when a prime minister dies, MPs can pay tribute, but this could be perfectly properly done on Monday.”

PM David Cameron has described Margaret Thatcher as a “great Briton” and international leaders, including US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have praised her.

Lady Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts, the daughter of a shopkeeper and Conservative councilor in Grantham, Lincolnshire, in 1925. She became an MP in 1959.

Having been education secretary, Margaret Thatcher successfully challenged former PM Edward Heath for her party’s leadership in 1975 and won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.

Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister in 1990 and had been in poor health for several years prior to her death.

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