Margaret Thatcher, UK’s first female prime minister, has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has announced today.
Lord Bell said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.”
Margaret Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
PM David Cameron called Baroness Thatcher a “great Briton” and Queen Elizabeth II spoke of her sadness at the death.
Margaret Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990
Downing Street said Lady Margaret Thatcher would be accorded the same status of funeral as the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, but will not lie in state, in accordance with her own wishes.
Lady Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992.
Having been education secretary, Margaret Thatcher successfully challenged former Prime Minister Edward Heath for her party’s leadership in 1975 and won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.
Margaret Thatcher’s government privatized several state-owned industries. She was also in power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982.
In a statement on the Downing Street Twitter feed, PM David Cameron said: “It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.”
Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust has released doodles made by Ronald Reagan at the 1981 Ottawa G7 summit, which were then kept by the former British prime minister.
Ronald Reagan’s scribblings, which include a man’s torso and an eye, are among personal papers from 1981 of Margaret Thatcher.
The Ottawa summit, which took place six months after Ronald Reagan took office, saw the leaders’ relationship progress to first-name terms – Ron and Margaret.
Ronald Reagan was president for eight of Margaret Thatcher’s 11 years in power.
The doodles, which were left on the table beside Margaret Thatcher and which she then filed in the flat at Number 10, have been released by the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are first thought to have met in 1975 – four years before Margaret Thatcher became prime minister – when she was a junior minister in Edward Heath’s government and Ronald Reagan, the former governor of California, was on a visit to Whitehall.
Remembering their first meeting, Ronald Reagan said even then he had believed she would make a “magnificent prime minister”.
Ronald Reagan's scribblings, which include a man's torso and an eye, are among personal papers from 1981 of Margaret Thatcher
After Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981 – and in a sign of the close relationship to come – Margaret Thatcher was given of the honor of being the first foreign leader invited to the US by the Reagan administration.
Margaret Thatcher visited the US in February 1981.
The two leaders famously forged a close, though often tempestuous, relationship during their time in power.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan famously forged a close, though often tempestuous, relationship during their time in power
Both political outsiders, they found common currency in shared right-wing ideals such as minimal government, strong defense and a free market. There was also a joint mission to defeat communism in the shape of the Soviet Union.
Political soul mates they might have been, but there were disagreements, most notably over the Falklands crisis in 1982 and then the US invasion of Grenada 18 months later.
In her eulogy at President Ronald Reagan’s funeral in 2004, Lady Margaret Thatcher called him one of her “closest political and dearest personal friends”, while in later life President Reagan told how “richly blessed” he had been for having known the “Iron Lady”.