Former British PM Margaret Thatcher will be given a ceremonial funeral with full military honors at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Margaret Thatcher’s funeral service is expected to take place next week, and will be similar in status to those accorded to the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.
Many members of Parliament have called for Iron Lady to be given a state funeral, as was given to former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but that was against her own wishes.
Margaret Thatcher’s spokesman and friend, Lord Bell, has said that Britain’s first female PM “specially did not want state funeral, and nor did her family”.
Margaret Thatcher’s funeral service is expected to take place next week, and will be similar in status to those accorded to the Queen Mother and Princess Diana
“She particularly did not wish to lie in state as she thought that was not appropriate,” Lord Bell said.
“And she did not want a fly-past as she thought that was a waste of money – somewhat in character you might think.”
Details of the ceremonial funeral with military honors are understood to have been mapped out in talks between government officials and Baroness Thatcher more than five years ago.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Nancy Reagan, wife of her closest ally US President Ronald Reagan, are expected to lead a list of international mourners.
Margaret Thatcher did request a central role for The Chelsea Pensioners at her funeral. The Army veterans will not only welcome her coffin when it arrives at St Paul’s, but will also benefit from donations made in her memory – her family have requested that, instead of flowers.
Margaret Thatcher funeral cortege route and procession details
The day before the funeral takes place, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will be moved to the chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster. There will be a short service following its arrival and the coffin will rest there overnight.
The following day, the streets will be cleared before the coffin travels by hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes, the central church for the RAF, on the Strand. There it will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by horses of the King’s Troop of the Royal Artillery, the Queen’s ceremonial Saluting Battery.
Lady Thatcher’s funeral cortege will pass through Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and along the Strand, round Aldwych and then up Ludgate Hill to St Paul’s. Serving members of all three Armed Forces will line the route, alongside an expected crowd of tens of thousands of people.
At the steps of St Paul’s, the coffin will be met by another Guard of Honour and the Chelsea Pensioners. Members of the three services will then bear the coffin into St Paul’s for the funeral service.
As well as friends and family of Margaret Thatcher, politicians who served in her cabinet are expected to attend the service alongside current cabinet members. It is not yet known whether the Queen will be attending.
After the service, there will be a private cremation service in Mortlake, south-west London. It is understood that Margaret Thatcher wished to be laid to rest alongside her husband, Denis, who died in 2003, in the cemetery of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
North Korea has hailed Kim Jong-Un as “supreme leader of the party, state and army” after his father’s funeral.
Kim Jong-Un took centre stage at a memorial service in Pyongyang’s main square a day after his father’s funeral.
Kim Yong-Nam, formally the number two leader, told a million-strong crowd their sorrow would be turned into strength “1,000 times greater under the leadership of comrade Kim Jong-Un”.
State TV showed Kim Jong-Un surrounded by top government and army officials.
The memorial event appeared to be the Kim dynasty’s unofficial handover of power.
A three-minute silence was also held, after which trains and ships throughout the country sounded their horns.
North Korea has hailed Kim Jong-Un as "supreme leader of the party, state and army" after his father’s funeral
Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack on 17 December, aged 69, state media said. He had ruled North Korea since the death of his father Kim Il-Sung in 1994.
“Respected Comrade Kim Jong-Un is our party, military and country’s supreme leader who inherits great comrade Kim Jong-Il’s ideology, leadership, character, virtues, grit and courage,” Kim Yong-Nam told the massive crowd gathered in Kim Il-Sung square.
“The fact that he completely resolved the succession matter is Great Comrade Kim Jong-Il’s most noble achievement.”
A top military official, Kim Jong-Gak, also addressed the crowd.
“Our people’s military will serve comrade Kim Jong-Un at the head of our revolutionary troops and will continue to maintain and complete the Songun accomplishments of great leader Kim Jong-Il,” he said.
Songun refers to the “military-first” policy – channeling funds into the military.
On Wednesday, thousands stood weeping and wailing in the snow as Kim Jong-Il’s funeral cortege passed, images from state television showed.
The ceremonies echoed the displays of pomp and military might that marked the death of Kim Il-sung, in 1994.
Kim Jong-Un – Kim Jong-Il’s third son – cried as he walked alongside the hearse. Tens of thousands of soldiers lined up to bow their heads in homage in the city’s main square.
Kim Jong-Un – who is thought to be in his late 20s and who has little political experience – was accompanied by his uncle, Chang Song-Taek.
Chang Song-Taek is expected to be a key player as the younger Kim Jong-Un consolidates power.
Kim Jong-Il – known in North Korea as the “Dear Leader” – was in the process of formalizing Kim Jong-Un as his successor when he died.
However, the transition was not complete, leaving regional neighbors fearful of a power struggle in the nuclear-armed pariah state.
Kim Jong-Il’s two older sons, Kim Jong-Nam and Kim Jong-Chol, were not seen at the funeral.
No foreign delegations have attended any of the events. However, UN offices around the world lowered their flags to half-mast.
A spokesman at the UN headquarters in New York said that the move had been requested by Pyongyang’s UN mission but was part of normal protocol for the funeral of any head of state.