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President Ronald Reagan’s apology to PM Margaret Thatcher over the US invasion of Grenada has been published for the first time.

“We regret very much the embarrassment that’s been caused to you,” Ronald Reagan said during a phone call.

Margaret Thatcher was angered that she was not consulted before the Americans invaded a Commonwealth state.

US troops were sent to Grenada in 1983 to topple the Caribbean island’s Marxist regime.

While US forces were still in action, President Ronald Reagan phoned Margaret Thatcher to explain the action he had taken.

“If I were there, Margaret,” he said.

“I’d throw my hat in the door before I came in.”

The saying refers to a Civil War-era practice in which a visitor might throw his hat in to a room before entering – if he was unwelcome, it might be thrown out again or even shot at.

“There’s no need for that,” Margaret Thatcher replied.

Ronald Reagan apologized to Margaret Thatcher over the US invasion of Grenada

Ronald Reagan apologized to Margaret Thatcher over the US invasion of Grenada

Reagan continued: “We regret very much the embarrassment that’s been caused to you, and I would like to tell you what the story is from our end.”

He explained that military commanders only had “a matter of hours” to mobilize the troops and that he was prevented from discussing it with her sooner because of security fears.

“We were greatly concerned because of a problem here – and not at your end at all – but here. We’ve had a nagging problem of a loose source, a leak,” he told her.

Margaret Thatcher went on to suggest she understood why he had not been more open with her, saying she had been subject to similar restrictions at the time of the Falklands invasion.

“The action [in Grenada] is under way now and we just hope it will be successful. There is a lot of work to do yet, Ron,” she said.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan discussed the situation in Grenada further before she ended the call by saying she had to return to a “tricky” debate in the House of Commons.

Ronald Reagan then pitched in with some advice for her: “All right. Go get ’em, eat ’em alive.”


A box of 20 tapes was released to the public in October at the Reagan Library in Los Angeles, following several Freedom of Information Act requests.

US author William Doyle, Dan Collings – researcher for Margaret Thatcher biographer Charles Moore – and Chris Collins, the director of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, had all been pursuing rumors of the tapes’ existence.

The release confirms that President Ronald Reagan secretly recorded his discussions in the White House situation room, a habit that was previously thought to have ended with Richard Nixon’s departure from office.

Another tape records Ronald Reagan’s condolences to Margaret Thatcher following the bombing of the Conservative Party conference in Brighton in 1984.

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President Barack Obama decided not to dispatch any high-ranking members of his administration to former British PM Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, a move that has been heavily criticized on both sides of the pond.

According to the Associated Press, the White House sent ex-Secretaries of State George Shultz and James A. Baker III to lead the American delegation, which also includes Barbara Stephenson, the charge d’affaires at the US Embassy in London, and Louis Susman, former US ambassador to the UK.

British tabloid The Sun reported: “[…Downing] Street is most angered by rejections from Obama, First Lady Michelle and Vice-President Joe Biden. And none of the four surviving ex-US leaders – Jimmy Carter, George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr. – is coming either.”

“The response contrasts with glowing US tributes on the day Lady Thatcher died. A No 10 source said last night: <<We are a little surprised by the White House’s reaction as we were expecting a high-profile attendance>>. The <<snub>> came ahead of the Boston marathon <<bomb outrage>>.”

Barack Obama’s decision not to dispatch any high-ranking members of his administration to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral has been heavily criticized

Barack Obama’s decision not to dispatch any high-ranking members of his administration to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral has been heavily criticized

However, British PM David Cameron’s spokesman refuted reports that the Obama administration snubbed Margaret Thatcher.

“Absolutely not and that the seniority of the America dignitaries attending was reflective of her global stature,” spokesman Jean-Christophe Gray told reporters on Tuesday.

“He welcomed the fact that two former Secretaries of State with whom Lady Thatcher had worked very closely were attending, saying it was testimony to the esteem in which she was held.”

Meanwhile the New York Post editorial page called the US representation “underwhelming.”

“As the world bids farewell to Lady Margaret Thatcher today, it’s hard not to notice that America’s official presence at the state funeral for England’s most significant prime minister since Winston Churchill will be underwhelming,” wrote The Post, which is owned by Margaret Thatcher’s ally Rupert Murdoch.

“Instead of sending a high-ranking member of his own administration to lead the official delegation, President Obama has dispatched two former Republican secretaries of state, George Shultz and Jim Baker. Nothing against these men, but we can forgive the British for regarding Obama’s choice as yet another snub.”

The kicker: “What makes Washington’s little acts of thoughtlessness so telling is that they attract more attention than doing the right thing would.”

UK’s The Guardian dubbed it a “distinctly low-key official representation”.

“The US is to send distinctly low-key official representation … While Barack Obama was invited, he has opted to send a presidential delegation comprising no serving politicians.”

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Former British PM Margaret Thatcher was this afternoon cremated at Mortlake Crematorium in South-West London.

After a reception for the guests at her ceremonial funeral, Margaret Thatcher’s body was driven from St Paul’s Cathedral to the suburban district.

Margaret Thatcher’s ashes are due to be interred next to those of her beloved husband Denis, who died in 2003, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Following the spectacular funeral at St Paul’s, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh joined Lady Thatcher’s family to watch her coffin loaded into a hearse and taken to the Chelsea hospital in preparation for her final journey.

Former British PM Margaret Thatcher was this afternoon cremated at Mortlake Crematorium in South-West London

Former British PM Margaret Thatcher was this afternoon cremated at Mortlake Crematorium in South-West London

Relatives then moved on to a reception at the Guildhall to thank the funeral guests for their attendance.

After the reception ended, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin left Central London – roughly four hours after the conclusion of the funeral service.

The vehicle was accompanied by police motorcyclists en route to Mortlake Crematorium.

The convoy drove west through Central London, and crossed Putney Bridge on its way to the suburb in the Borough of Richmond.

Dozens of onlookers lined the street and applauded as the coffin entered through the crematorium gates, which were guarded by two police officers.

Another two police officers saluted as the hearse went into the grounds, followed by two Jaguar cars and a Range Rover.

Two coaches carrying guests had arrived at the crematorium half an hour earlier, for a private service before the cremation.

Margaret Thatcher’s ashes will eventually be buried with those of Sir Denis, under a marble slab in the grounds of the famous hospital.

Other well-known figures to have been cremated at Mortlake Crematorium include comedian Tommy Cooper, actor Michael Redgrave and political journalist Robin Day.

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Queen Elizabeth II has led mourners in St Paul’s Cathedral in London at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest serving prime minister of modern times.

More than 2,000 guests from around the world paid their last respects at the biggest such occasion since the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002.

In total, two current heads of state, 11 serving prime ministers and 17 serving foreign ministers from around the world attended.

Notable absences were former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who could not attend due to ill health, and former US first lady Nancy Reagan, who was also unable to come.

Queen Elizabeth II has led mourners in St Paul's Cathedral in London at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher

Queen Elizabeth II has led mourners in St Paul’s Cathedral in London at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher

Invitees include:

  • Prime Minister David Cameron
  • Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and wife Cherie
  • Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and wife Sarah
  • Former Prime Minister Sir John Major
  • Former South African President FW de Klerk
  • Former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate Dr. Henry Kissinger
  • Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband
  • The first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond
  • The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones
  • The first minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson
  • Lord and Lady Archer
  • Chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten
  • London Olympic chief, Lord Sebastian Coe
  • Margaret Thatcher’s former foreign policy adviser Lord Powell of Bayswater
  • Former Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington
  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
  • Former  US Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne
  • London Mayor Boris Johnson
  • Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
  • Former Conservative minister Michael Portillo and wife Carolyn Eadie
  • Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus and current Prime Minister Petr Necas
  • US politician Newt Gingrich
  • US politician Ross Perot
  • Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his wife Janette
  • Advertising executive and former Conservative Party chairman Lord Saatchi
  • Conservative donor Lord Harris and Lady Harris
  • Conservative peer, Baroness Trumpington
  • Former Commons Speaker, Baroness Boothroyd
  • Conservative peer, Baroness Bottomley
  • Press baron, Lord Beaverbrook
  • Former first minister of Northern Ireland, Lord David Trimble
  • BBC director general, Lord Tony Hall
  • Political commentator Sir Robert Worcester
  • Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind
  • Former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell
  • Labour MP Frank Field
  • Labour MP Keith Vaz
  • Conservative MP Peter Lilley
  • Conservative Lord Sterling of Plaistow
  • Lady Annabel Goldsmith, the widow of Referendum Party founder Sir James Goldsmith
  • Businessman and UK Independence Party treasurer Stuart Wheeler
  • Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti
  • Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Saba
  • Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of the Hellenes
  • Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Sabah, son of the ruler of Kuwait
  • Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis
  • Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers
  • Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
  • Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards
  • Former head of the Army General Sir Mike Jackson
  • Field Marshal Lord Bramall
  • Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Craig of Radley
  • General Sir Peter Wall
  • Field Marshal Sir John Chapple
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach
  • Major General Ed Davis
  • Vice Admiral Sir Roy Newman
  • Broadcaster Sir David Frost
  • Broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald
  • Broadcaster John Sargeant
  • Lyricist Sir Tim Rice
  • Actress June Whitfield
  • Actress Joan Collins
  • Broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan and Lady Wogan
  • Singer Dame Shirley Bassey
  • Broadcaster and journalist Jeremy Clarkson
  • Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber
  • Fashion designer Anya Hindmarch
  • Former Antiques Roadshow presenter Hugh Scully
  • Artist Michael Noakes
  • Writer William Shawcross
  • Lady Solti, the widow of conductor Sir Georg Solti
  • JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford
  • Senior civil servant Sir Alex Allan
  • Singer Katherine Jenkins
  • Web pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee
  • Broadcaster Andrew Neil
  • Actor Michael Crawford
  • Chef Marco Pierre White
  • Conservative Raymond Monbiot
  • Williams Formula 1 team boss Sir Frank Williams
  • Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre
  • Businessman Gerald Ronson and Dame Gail Ronson
  • Philip Woodhouse, Master of Grocers Hall
  • Michael Cox, Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners
  • The Lord Grabiner QC, treasurer of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Mark Wood, chairman of the NSPCC
  • Journalist Martyn Lewis
  • Businessman Sir David and Lady Tang
  • Stephen Boateng, of International Democrat Union
  • Former UK ambassador Sir Leonard Appleyard
  • Sir George Christie, chairman of Glyndebourne
  • Hotelier George Goring

Among those not attending:

  • Ronald Reagan’s widow Nancy is understood to be too frail to travel
  • Former US Presidents George Bush Sr. and George W. Bush
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not attend and instead her government was represented by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle
  • Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, due to health problems
  • Downing Street has confirmed that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was not invited
  • Argentina’s ambassador to London, Alicia Castro, has declined her invitation
  • Lord Kinnock – former Labour leader of the opposition
  • Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was invited along with other newspaper proprietors but has indicated he will not be coming

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A tight London security operation involving more than 4,000 police officers is under way for the funeral of former British PM Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will travel from Westminster and be taken in procession through central London for the funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral at 11:00 BST.

Some 2,300 people, representing 170 countries, are expected to attend.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will be among them.

Scotland Yard said it was expecting some protests along the funeral route.

Margaret Thatcher's coffin will travel from Westminster and be taken in procession through central London for the funeral at St Paul's Cathedral

Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will travel from Westminster and be taken in procession through central London for the funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral

Margaret Thatcher, who was Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 until 1990, died on April 8, following a stroke, at the age of 87.

Baroness Thatcher has been accorded a ceremonial funeral with military honors, one step down from a state funeral.

Police were out early on Wednesday with metal crowd control barriers in place along the main route in Westminster.

Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will initially travel by hearse from the Palace of Westminster, where it has lain overnight, to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the RAF – on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to a gun carriage to be drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who will lead it in procession to St Paul’s.

The processional route will be lined by more than 700 armed services personnel. A gun salute will be fired from the Tower of London every minute while the procession is taking place.

The Dean of St Paul’s said the funeral would be “relatively humble” in line with Margaret Thatcher’s wishes.

The Very Rev Dr David Ison said Margaret Thatcher had played a large part in planning the funeral over the past six years.

He said the “simple” service would be in contrast to the “pomp and ceremony” surrounding the transit of the coffin.

“Mrs. Thatcher wanted something that was very simple and it is not at all triumphalist,” he said.

“There is no eulogy, she is only mentioned once or twice in the service. It uses the book of common prayer, which is actually quite austere in places.”

As well as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, all 32 members of the current cabinet will attend the service, along with more than 30 members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinets from her time as prime minister.

There will be more than 50 guests associated with the Falkland Islands, including veterans from the 1982 conflict with Argentina, but Argentina’s ambassador to London, Alicia Castro, has declined an invitation to attend.

In total, two current heads of state, 11 serving prime ministers and 17 serving foreign ministers from around the world will attend.

Six police forces from outside London have sent specialist officers to help with escorting foreign dignitaries.

Various roads along the route were closed from 07:30 BST, and Transport for London (TfL) has advised drivers to avoid Westminster and the City of London. The roads are expected to be re-opened as soon as possible following the funeral.

Hours before the funeral, people began to gather outside the cathedral.

There were union jacks on display, as well as flags from the US, Canada, Scotland, Poland and the Falkland Islands.

The Metropolitan Police said it had been contacted by a small number of protesters to say they were planning action on the funeral route in protest at the impact of some of Margaret Thatcher’s policies while she was in power. Other protests are expected elsewhere.

Although Monday’s bomb attack at the Boston Marathon was not believed to have led to any significant changes in security for the funeral, it was expected that the police and public would be more vigilant.

Senior officers acknowledged they had a “difficult” balance to strike between allowing people to express their opinions and maintaining order.

Police have powers to arrest those who use “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior”, but Scotland Yard said it was not for the police to “uphold respect”.

Margaret Thatcher’s union jack-draped coffin was placed in the Palace of Westminster’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft overnight on Tuesday.

A short service, led by the Dean of Westminster, was held for members of the family, senior parliamentarians, and staff from Parliament and Downing Street.

The House of Commons speaker’s chaplain kept vigil in the chapel through the night.

The chimes of Big Ben will be silenced for the duration of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

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Family, friends and politicians from all sides have paid their respects to Margaret Thatcher at the Palace of Westminster chapel, ahead of the former prime minister’s funeral on Wednesday.

A short service was held with around 100 MPs and peers, and parliamentary and Downing Street staff taking part.

The union jack-draped coffin had arrived earlier in an escorted hearse.

Meanwhile, MPs have voted to cancel Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, after some MPs had tried to force it to go ahead.

Margaret Thatcher, who died at the age of 87 on April 8, has been accorded a ceremonial funeral with military honors, one step down from a state funeral.

Family, friends and politicians from all sides have paid their respects to Margaret Thatcher at the Palace of Westminster chapel

Family, friends and politicians from all sides have paid their respects to Margaret Thatcher at the Palace of Westminster chapel

Baroness Thatcher’s body will now rest overnight in the Palace of Westminster’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, where a service was led by the Dean of Westminster for members of the family, senior figures from both Houses of Parliament, and staff from Parliament and Downing Street.

Senior figures attending included Commons Speaker John Bercow, Leader of the House Andrew Lansley, Chief Whip Sir George Young and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

Senior Liberal Democrat Baroness Williams said the service had been “very impressive” and “not at all political” but “more about the Thatcher family”.

Conservative MP Sir Gerald Howarth added that it had been “dignified”.

The chapel will be open for several hours in order that members of both Houses and parliamentary staff may pay their respects.

The House of Commons Speaker’s chaplain will then keep vigil through the night.

A debate in the Scottish Parliament on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy is to be postponed until after the funeral.

Green Party and independent members had wanted to hold the discussion shortly after the service, but the main parties at Holyrood have agreed that it should be moved to Thursday.

On Wednesday morning, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will initially travel by hearse from the Palace of Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the RAF – on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to a gun carriage and taken in procession to St Paul’s.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are among more than 2,000 people expected to attend the service.

Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney and ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will also be among the guests, while 4,000 police will be on duty.

Barack Obama’s official presidential delegation will be led by George Shultz and James Baker, who both served as secretaries of state during the Thatcher era.

Argentina’s ambassador to London, Alicia Castro, has declined an invitation to attend.

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Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will be taking place on Wednesday, April 17, and the procession route means there will be a range of road closures and travel issues in force all morning.

Which roads will be closed for the funeral procession?

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession route: from the Houses of Parliament to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Note that Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge are not on the route, but will both be closed, while Waterloo Bridge will be subject to “restricted access”.

Road closures and travel issues on Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession route

Road closures and travel issues on Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession route

Which bus routes will be affected?

1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17
21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 43, 45
53, 59, 63, 68, 76, 87, 88, 91, 100
133, 139, 141, 148, 159
168, 171, 172, 176, 188
211, 242, 243, 341, 381, 388
453, 507, 521, C10.

TfL also has announced that “it is anticipated that other routes will need to be curtailed or diverted”.

Will tube stations be closed during the funeral procession?

No, they’ll all be open as usual, including Westminster and St. Paul’s.

What time will the closures take place?

Restrictions come into effect around 6 a.m. The service at St Paul’s Cathedral will start at 11 a.m., so the procession should take place in the two hours before that. Travel restrictions should be lifted well before the evening rush hour.

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The body of former British PM Margaret Thatcher is to be moved to a chapel in the Palace of Westminster later, ahead of Wednesday’s funeral.

A service, led by the Dean of Westminster, will be held in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft.

MPs are also expected to vote later on whether to cancel Prime Minister’s Questions in order to allow them to attend the funeral.

Two MPs are trying to block the plan to delay the start of Commons’ business.

Respect MP George Galloway and Labour’s Dennis Skinner have both objected to the cancellation of PMQs, meaning MPs will now have to debate and vote on the plan before the change can be made.

If agreed, parliamentary business would not begin until 14:30 BST on Wednesday.

Margaret Thatcher’s body will be moved to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster, ahead of Wednesday's funeral

Margaret Thatcher’s body will be moved to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster, ahead of Wednesday’s funeral

George Galloway says there has been “unnecessary fawning” over Margaret Thatcher, who was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990.

However, the motion is expected to be passed after Labour said its MPs would not oppose it.

Margaret Thatcher, who died at the age of 87 on April 8 at the Ritz Hotel in London, has been accorded a ceremonial funeral with military honors, one step down from a state funeral.

The ceremonial funeral will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Before the funeral, Margaret Thatcher’s body will rest overnight in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster.

A short service, for around 100 people, will be led by the Dean of Westminster and attended by members of the family, senior figures from both Houses of Parliament and staff from Parliament and Downing Street who knew or worked closely with Lady Thatcher.

After the service, the chapel will be open for several hours in order that members of both Houses and parliamentary staff may pay their respects.

The Speaker’s chaplain, the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, will then keep vigil in the chapel through the night.

On Wednesday, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will initially travel by hearse from the Palace of Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the RAF – on the Strand.

It will then be transferred to a gun carriage and taken in procession to St Paul’s Cathedral.

St Paul’s Cathedral has published a full funeral order of service for Margaret Thatcher.

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Margaret Thatcher’s twins, Mark and Carol, met at the former prime minister’s home to make final arrangements today just hours after a stirring full military rehearsal for her funeral had taken place before dawn.

Major Andrew Chatburn, the man in charge of choreographing the parade, said the rehearsal “went very well” and claimed it was “vitally important” to stage a trial of Wednesday’s event.

More than 700 serving Armed Forces personnel gathered in central London before dawn as a Union flag-draped coffin was carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage from St Clement Danes, the church of the Royal Air Force, down the Strand to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Margaret Thatcher's twins, Mark and Carol, met at her home to make final arrangements for the funeral

Margaret Thatcher’s twins, Mark and Carol, met at her home to make final arrangements for the funeral

Mark and Carol Thatcher spent time at her grand house in Belgravia today, and were later joined by Mark’s wife Sarah and their children Michael and Amanda.

Major Andrew Chatburn, ceremonial staff officer for the Household Division, who was also behind the royal wedding procession two years ago and last year’s Diamond Jubilee parade, said: “Timings are most important. We will learn something quite significant this morning about the timings, and to familiarize the troops of their duties.

“Bearing in mind these are sailors, soldiers and airmen who have come in to do this specific task from their routine duties, so it’s new to them.

“They need to see the ground as well so they can get a feel for how it’s going to go and they can perform their duties with confidence on the day.

“I thought it went very well.”

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Big Ben will be silent for the duration of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has announced.

John Bercow told MPs this would be “an appropriate means of indicating our sentiments” during the occasion.

There was a “profound dignity through silence,” he added.

The silence will last throughout events on Wednesday, covering the procession from Westminster and the ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Big Ben will be silent for the duration of Margaret Thatcher's funeral

Big Ben will be silent for the duration of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral

The chiming of Big Ben, the name often used to describe the Great Bell, the Great Clock and the Elizabeth Tower – clock tower – in the Palace of Westminster, is one of London’s most famous sounds.

Big Ben has not been silent as a mark of respect since the funeral of former PM Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, although it was out of action for repairs for a period during the 1970s.

In a statement to the Commons, John Bercow said he had received “direct and indirect representations” over the best way for Parliament to mark the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, who died last week aged 87.

John Bercow added: “I’ve considered all of these, but I concluded that the most appropriate means of indicating our sentiments would be for the chimes of Big Ben and the chimes of the Great Clock to be silenced for the duration of the funeral proceedings.”

He also said: “I believe there can be a profound dignity and deep respect expressed through silence.”

Responding for the government, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said it was a “very dignified and respectful gesture on behalf of Parliament”.

“As you know, Lady Thatcher held Parliament in very great reverence in her time both in this House and in the Lords,” he said.

“I am confident that Lady Thatcher’s family will take it very much in that spirit and be very appreciative of what you have decided.”

Margaret Thatcher has been accorded a ceremonial funeral with military honors, one step down from a state funeral.

A military rehearsal of the procession took place in central London during the early hours of Monday morning.

On Wednesday, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will initially travel by hearse from the Palace of Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the RAF – on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to the gun carriage and taken in procession to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Big Ben Facts:

  • The Great Bell, better known as Big Ben, is 2.2 m tall, has a diameter of 2.7 m and weighs 13.7 tonnes
  • The hammer which strikes the bell weighs 200 kg
  • When struck it chimes the musical note E
  • It was cast in the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and installed on 10 April, 1858. It took 18 hours to lift it into the clock tower’s belfry
  • The chimes of Big Ben were first recorded and broadcast by BBC engineer AG      Dryland on New Year’s Eve 1923
  • It was out of action from 09:45 GMT until midnight on the day of Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral

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Former British PM Margaret Thatcher will be given a funeral ceremony with full military honors before a private cremation on Wednesday, April 17.

Officials and politicians from around the world will be in London to pay their last respects to Britain’s first female prime minister.

Margaret Thatcher died at Ritz Hotel in London on Monday, April 8, after suffering a massive stroke at the age of 87.

The former prime minister will be honored with a ceremonial service with full military honors, with politicians, former world leaders and cultural figures in the congregation.

Although not officially a state funeral, in accordance with Margaret Thatcher’s wishes when making her funeral plans, the announcement of the lavish state-funded ceremony has brought a fierce backlash.

When:

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday April 17, with the service due to start at 11 a.m.

Where:

The service is being held at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, at Margaret Thatcher’s request. Attendance is by invitation only. It will be followed by a private cremation in Mortlake, south west London.

A funeral procession will travel through the streets of London, first in a hearse and then on a gun carriage, from the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster to the cathedral just under two miles away, with members of the armed services lining the route.

Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will be taken by a hearse from the Palace of Westminster to the RAF Chapel, the church of St Clement Danes, in the Strand.

From there the coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery.

The impressive cortege will then proceed down the Strand, through Aldwych, then along the entire length of Fleet Street before rising up Ludgate Hill to the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral.

Margaret Thatcher will be given a funeral ceremony with full military honors before a private cremation on April 17

Margaret Thatcher will be given a funeral ceremony with full military honors before a private cremation on April 17

Will Margaret Thatcher’s funeral be broadcasted?

BBC1 will be showing live coverage from 9.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.

Who will be at St Paul’s Cathedral?

According to Downing Street, 2,000 invitations are being sent out, with guests including former prime ministers, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lord Archer and Jeremy Clarkson.

Margaret Thatcher’s children, Carol and Mark, will lead the mourners.

Queen Elizabeth II will attend, accompanied by Prince Philip. It is the first time the Queen has attended the funeral of one of her former Prime Ministers since Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral in 1965.

Hundreds of foreign dignitaries and top British politicians will be invited. Former PMs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and their wives Cherie and Sarah have confirmed they will be attending, as has Margaret Thatcher’s successor in No. 10 Sir John Major.

Singers Dame Shirley Bassey and Katherine Jenkins, actor Michael Crawford, composer Lord Lloyd-Webber and lyricist Tim Rice are also due to attend the service.

Others on the guest list include Joan Collins, broadcasters Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Trevor McDonald and Sir David Frost, fashion designer Anya Hindmarch and sitcom queen June Whitfield.

Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last president of apartheid South Africa, will also be there as a guest of the family.

However, Neil Kinnock, the Labour leader defeated by Lady Thatcher at the 1987 election, has said he will not be attending.

Ten members of staff from the Ritz Hotel, where Margaret Thatcher died on Monday, have also been invited to her funeral as thanks for the care she received. She had been staying at the five-star hotel since Christmas.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has announced he will not attend the ceremony due to health problems. Former US First Lady Nancy Reagan, whose husband Ronald worked closely with Margaret Thatcher as the Cold War drew to an end, said she was “heartbroken” over Lady Thatcher’ death but could not attend due to her age.

How much is Margaret Thatcher’s funeral going to cost and who is going to pay?

The funeral is expected to cost up to £10 million (about $16 million) with the taxpayer bearing the brunt of the costs. It has been confirmed a “contribution” to the cost of the funeral will be made from Margaret Thatcher’s estate. The official cost to the public purse will be released after the service has taken place.

The security operation alone is set to cost £5 million ($8 million). Police across London have been ordered to cancel any leave they had planned for Operation True Blue on ­Wednesday.

There could be more than 4,000 officers and 2,000 troops lining the route. Hundreds of specialist police will be working on counter-terrorism measures, with others carefully monitoring CCTV cameras for trouble spots.

Every corner of the route will be checked by sniffer dogs, with sewers and drains closed.

Military personnel from the RAF, Navy and Army will line the route from Westminster to St Paul’s. Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will travel part of the way by hearse before being transferred to a gun carriage at the Church of St Clement Danes, the RAF Chapel, on the Strand. The gun carriage will be drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Six horses will draw the carriage, three of them mounted, with a sergeant riding alongside, an officer riding in front and three dismounted troops on foot.

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral ceremony will have a Falklands theme.

A Bearer Party made up of all three services will walk alongside the coffin, and will include those from ships, units and stations notable for their service during the Falklands Campaign. Members will be taken from the Royal Navy/Royal Marines; the Scots Guards; the Welsh Guards; the Royal Artillery; the Royal Engineers; the Parachute Regiment; the Royal Gurkha Rifles; and the RAF.

Three military bands will play – their drums draped in black as a mark of respect.

A guard of Chelsea Pensioners, dressed in their traditional red tunics, will line the steps of St Paul’s as her coffin is carried in by bearers from units particularly associated with the Falklands War.

More than 700 Armed Forces personnel drawn from all three services will take part. Members of the Welsh Guards, the regiment that suffered some of the heaviest losses during the Falklands conflict, will be among the units involved, taking on roles including the coffin bearer party, lining the route the procession will take, and forming a Guard of Honour outside St Paul’s.

Guns will be fired from the Tower of London but there will be no fly-past – as Margaret Thatcher herself requested.

How will Margaret Thatcher’s funeral affect travel in London?

Motorists are being advised to avoid Westminster and the City of London on the day of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, April 17.

On the same day a number of roads will be closed and some bus services will be diverted, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Blackfriars and Westminster bridges will be closed and some Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations will be suspended. But all Tube, London Overground and Docklands Light Railway services will run normally.

The bus diversions will begin from 6 a.m. and the road closures from around 7 a.m. Among roads that will be closed will be The Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Whitehall, Kingsway and The Mall.

What’s the dress code at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral?

Guests at the funeral will be asked to wear full day ceremonial dress without swords, morning dress with a black waistcoat and black tie or dark suit, day dress with hat. Medals and decorations may be worn.

What are the invitations like?

Invitations have been sent out on Friday, April 12. The white VIP invitations will see guests seated under the Cathedral’s famous dome. A red or green stripe will show whether they are to sit on the port or starboard side. Other invitations are color-coded relating to where guests are to be seated in the cathedral.

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral – more details

Flags will be flown at half mast on UK government buildings and British embassies from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the day of the funeral.

The working title for the funeral’s operation plan is True Blue – which has drawn criticism from Labour’s Andy Burnham for politicising the event.

Margaret Thatcher requested there should not be a fly-past as she considered it a waste of money.

Baroness Thatcher’s family has asked that if people wish to pay their respects, they consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, rather than laying flowers.

Margaret Thatcher’s love of Edward Elgar’s classical music – especially Pomp and Circumstance – is expected to be reflected in the service.

Downing Street website will have a condolence page on which people will be able to write private messages for the Thatcher family.

The public will be unable to attend Margaret Thatcher’s funeral service itself but can line the route of the funeral procession from the RAF Church in the Strand to St Paul’s Cathedral.

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A military rehearsal of former British PM Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession has taken place in central London.

More than 700 members of the armed forces drawn from all three services took part in the practice before dawn.

They will line the route of the funeral procession from Westminster to St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday.

Margaret Thatcher’s coffin is to be carried in a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which was involved in the rehearsal.

Major Andrew Chatburn, the man in charge of choreographing the parade, said the rehearsal “went very well” and it was “vitally important” to stage a trial of Wednesday’s event.

“Timings are most important,” he said.

Military rehearsal of former PM Margaret Thatcher's funeral procession in central London

Military rehearsal of former PM Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession in central London

Maj. Andrew Chatburn, ceremonial staff officer for the Household Division, who was also behind the royal wedding procession two years ago and last year’s Diamond Jubilee parade, added: “Bearing in mind these are sailors, soldiers and airmen who have come in to do this specific task from their routine duties, so it’s new to them.

“They need to see the ground as well so they can get a feel for how it’s going to go and they can perform their duties with confidence on the day.”

The procession band played the funeral marches of Chopin, Beethoven and Mendelssohn as it made its way along the deserted streets for the rehearsal.

The Chelsea Pensioners from Royal Hospital Chelsea did not take part due to the early start, but they will line the west steps of St Paul’s for the real event.

It has emerged that the last portrait of Margaret Thatcher shows her relaxing on a deckchair in the garden of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement and nursing home for ex-British soldiers. Lady Thatcher was a strong supporter of the Chelsea Pensioners.

Scotland Yard’s preparations are ongoing and the force says the security operation on the day will be in line with the perceived threat level.

Margaret Thatcher, who died at the age of 87 on April 8, has been awarded a ceremonial funeral with military honors, one step down from a state funeral.

On Wednesday, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will initially travel by hearse from the Palace of Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the RAF – on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to the gun carriage and taken in procession to St Paul’s Cathedral.

St Paul’s Cathedral has published a full funeral order of service.

Respect MP George Galloway has said he will try to block plans designed to allow MPs to attend Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

Ministers want to cancel Prime Minister’s Questions and delay the start of parliamentary business – an approach backed by Labour.

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Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, which has been at the centre of an online campaign by opponents of former British PM Margaret Thatcher, has failed to reach No 1 spot in the music charts.

The Wizard of Oz song reached No 2 after selling 52,605 copies.

Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead was still more than 5,700 copies behind Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E with Need U (100%), which remained at the top for a second week.

Rival campaign song I’m In Love With Margaret Thatcher, which was featured in 2011 film The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep, entered at 35.

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, which has been at the centre of an online campaign by opponents of Margaret Thatcher, has failed to reach No 1 spot in the music charts

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, which has been at the centre of an online campaign by opponents of Margaret Thatcher, has failed to reach No 1 spot in the music charts

The 1979 song by punk band Notsensibles sold 8,768 copies after a late push from Margaret Thatcher’s fans.

The Notsensibles track was played in full on the programme, although Jamil did not introduce the song. The band was later mentioned as a new entry in the chart recap for songs 40 to 31, however the title was not named.

The Official Charts Company said Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead was “one of the most controversial chart contenders of all time” following Margaret Thatcher’s death last week.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who is overseeing Margaret Thatcher’s funeral arrangements, described the campaign to get Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead to the top of the charts as “extremely trivial”.

Aside from the controversy, Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead has become the first sub-60 second single to ever make the top 10.

The song charted at No 9 on the Big Top 40 chart, broadcast on commercial radio stations.

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Iron Man 3 premiere in the UK has been delayed due to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, according to reports.

A Disney spokesperson told Deadline the London gala, originally scheduled for Wednesday, would be moved to Thursday, April 18, to avoid the clash.

“London will basically be in traffic chaos and it would have been difficult logistically,” the spokesperson said.

Iron Man 3 premiere in the UK has been delayed due to Margaret Thatcher's funeral

Iron Man 3 premiere in the UK has been delayed due to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral

Iron Man 3 cast members including Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are still expected to appear at the premiere on Thursday.

More than 2,000 guests have been invited to attend the funeral ceremony for former British PM Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday. It will begin with a procession from Westminster to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Many roads in central London will be closed and large crowds are expected to line the procession route.

Iron Man 3, which also stars Rebecca Hall, Don Cheadle and Sir Ben Kingsley as villain, The Mandarin, will be released in UK cinemas on April 26.

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Downing Street has announced that well-known hymns and poems will mark next week’s funeral of former British PM Margaret Thatcher.

Latest details of the funeral ceremony have been published including the hymns To Be A Pilgrim, I Vow to Thee My Country and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

The programme features lines from William Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality and TS Eliot’s Little Gidding.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people took part in a demonstration condemning Margaret Thatcher in Trafalgar Square, London.

The protesters danced and sang around a large effigy of the late prime minister and chanted slogans.

Scotland Yard says nine people were arrested during Saturday’s protest – five of them for being drunk and disorderly.

Fourteen Chelsea Pensioners – aged from 65 to 90 – will line the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday, April 17, as the cortege and military escort draw up to the sound of a half-muffled bell.

Margaret Thatcher, who died at the age of 87 on April 8, had strong connections to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the Pensioners, over the last 10 years. The Margaret Thatcher Infirmary opened there in 2009.

Downing Street has announced that well-known hymns and poems will mark next week's funeral of former British PM Margaret Thatcher

Downing Street has announced that well-known hymns and poems will mark next week’s funeral of former British PM Margaret Thatcher

The coffin will be carried into and out of the cathedral by bearers from military units closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

The processional band will be a band of the Royal Marines and there will be a gun salute at the Tower of London.

Senior politicians and foreign heads of state will take their seats under the dome of St Paul’s before members of the Thatcher family followed by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are escorted from the Great West Door.

In front of the coffin, the former prime minister’s grandchildren Michael and Amanda Thatcher will carry cushions bearing the insignia of two orders she was appointed to – the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit – and lay them on the Dome Altar.

At the foot of the lectern there will be arrangements of white lilies and greenery.

Amanda Thatcher and PM David Cameron will deliver the two readings from the King James Bible.

Downing Street said Margaret Thatcher wanted the service to be “framed” by British music.

It will include compositions by Henry Purcell, Gustav Holst, John Ireland, Herbert Howells, Edward Elgar, Frank Bridge, Charles Stanford, Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams – as well as Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Faure and Johann Sebastian Bach.

The Bishop of London Richard Chartres will preach, and the blessing will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The ticket-only funeral will be followed by a private cremation. Margaret Thatcher’s family have asked well-wishers to consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, rather than giving flowers.

Downing Street says Margaret Thatcher’s estate has offered to will make a contribution to the costs of the funeral.

The former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott has criticized plans for taxpayers’ money to be used for funeral costs.

In his Sunday Mirror column, Lord Prescott writes: “Thatcher split this country…. This country paid enough thanks to that woman. So why the hell should we continue to pay now she’s dead?”

A ComRes online poll of 2,012 people on April 10-11 found that 60% of those asked opposed state funding for the funeral, while 25% supported it.

The poll was carried out for the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror.

Margaret Thatcher has been awarded a ceremonial funeral with military honors – one step down from a state funeral.

However, it has been reported that Lady Thatcher herself insisted she did not want her body to lie in state or money to be spent on a fly-past. But it was also her wish that the armed forces play a key part in the ceremony.

Downing Street said Margaret Thatcher had requested her body rest overnight in Parliament’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, and the Queen had given her consent.

About 100 people will be invited to a short service on Tuesday evening led by the Dean of Westminster, which will be attended by her family, MPs and peers.

On Wednesday, Margaret Thatcher’s coffin will travel by hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the Royal Air Force – on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery and taken in procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul’s Cathedral. The route will be lined by military personnel from all three services.

The Metropolitan Police acknowledges the “potential for protest” but says it will want to ensure the wishes of those paying their respects will be upheld.

Meanwhile, a memorial service will be held later at Finkin Street Methodist Church in Margaret Thatcher’s home town of Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Margaret Thatcher’s father Alfred Roberts was a lay preacher at the church and she went to Sunday school there.

Later in the day the UK singles chart position of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead, a song at the centre of an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign, will also become known.

Sales of the song, from the 1939 musical film the Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, have soared since Margaret Thatcher’s death.

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British police officer Jeremy Scott, who reportedly wrote on Twitter that he hoped Margaret Thatcher’s death was “painful and degrading”, has resigned.

Sgt. Jeremy Scott of the Metropolitan Police is understood to have published a number of offensive messages since Margaret Thatcher’s death.

He is said to have claimed her death was “87 years too late” and added that the world was a “better place”.

The Met described the comments as “completely unacceptable”.

After the tweets were widely reported Sgt. Jeremy Scott took the matter to the Directorate of Professional Standards.

Sgt. Jeremy Scott is understood to have published a number of offensive messages since Margaret Thatcher's death

Sgt. Jeremy Scott is understood to have published a number of offensive messages since Margaret Thatcher’s death

The 52-year-old  police officer then submitted his resignation before a police suspension over the incident came into force. It was accepted with immediate effect.

He had reportedly described news of the death as “marvellous stuff” and expressed a wish that the current prime minister, chancellor and home secretary were next.

Commander Allan Gibson said: “This officer’s behavior was completely unacceptable and it is right that he has resigned.”

On Thursday, British PM David Cameron branded some reaction to the death of Lady Thatcher as “pretty distasteful”.

David Cameron went on: “I think the overwhelming sense across the country – and you can see it yesterday in the House of Commons – is that we are mourning the loss of someone who gave a huge amount to this country, an extraordinary leader.”

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral is to be held in London on Wednesday, April 17.

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Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead – The Wizard of Oz song at the centre of an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign – will not be played in full on the Official Chart Show.

Instead a clip of the 51-second song will be aired as part of a Newsbeat report, BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper has said.

Sales of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead have soared since Margaret Thatcher’s death on Monday, aged 87.

Ben Cooper called the decision “a difficult compromise”.

The song is set to take No 3 spot in Sunday’s countdown, according to the Official Charts Company.

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead, The Wizard of Oz song at the centre of an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign, will not be played in full on the Official Chart Show

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead, The Wizard of Oz song at the centre of an anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign, will not be played in full on the Official Chart Show

Speaking to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Ben Cooper said: “The decision I have made is I am not going to play it in full but that I will play a clip of it in a news environment.

“When I say a news environment, that is a newsreader telling you about the fact that this record has reached a certain place in the chart and here is a clip of that track.

“It is a compromise and it is a difficult compromise to come to. You have very difficult and emotional arguments on both sides of the fence.

“Let’s not forget you also have a family that is grieving for a loved one who is yet to be buried.”

The announcement was followed by a statement from the corporation, reading: “The BBC finds this campaign distasteful but does not believe the record should be banned.”

“On Sunday, the Radio 1 Chart Show will contain a news item explaining why the song is in the charts during which a short clip will be played as it has been in some of our news programmes.”

The original song was performed in the 1939 Judy Garland film by characters celebrating the demise of the much-hated Wicked Witch of the East.

The campaign has been called “tasteless” by the BBC’s director general Tony Hall, Deputy PM Nick Clegg and others, though few have called for the song to be banned outright.

DJ Paul Gambaccini and former director general Greg Dyke are among those who have taken the opposite position, arguing that the chart is a statistical reality that should not be editorialized.

Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, attributed to Judy Garland and the cast of the movie, is also expected to feature in the Capital Chart’s Big Top 40.

A spokesman for Capital FM said the station was currently “reviewing the situation”.

Rival campaigns are under way to get a song considered to be more favorable to Margaret Thatcher into this week’s countdown as well.

One Facebook group is seeking to boost sales of (I’m In Love With) Margaret Thatcher, a 1980 track by the punk band Notsensible.

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Invitations to the funeral of former British PM Margaret Thatcher at St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday 17 April are being sent out.

The guest list has been decided by Margaret Thatcher’s family and representatives, along with the government and the Conservative Party.

It is expected that more than 2,000 invitations will be delivered.

About 200 states, territories and international organizations have been invited to send an official representative.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has not been invited but the country’s ambassador to Britain has – Downing Street says this is in keeping with diplomatic protocol for such occasions.

The guest list for the funeral ceremony has been decided by Margaret Thatcher's family and representatives, along with the government and the Conservative Party

The guest list for the funeral ceremony has been decided by Margaret Thatcher’s family and representatives, along with the government and the Conservative Party

Queen Elizabeth II will lead the mourners with the Duke of Edinburgh.

St Paul’s Cathedral has a capacity of 2,300 and is expected to be full on the day.

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral invitees include:

  • All surviving former UK prime ministers
  • All surviving former US presidents
  • A representative of the family of former US President Ronald Reagan
  • Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • All surviving members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinets
  • The current British cabinet
  • Opposition leader Ed Miliband
  • European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
  • Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham and Lady Ingham
  • Author Frederick Forsyth
  • Former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad
  • A representative of Nelson Mandela
  • The first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond
  • The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones
  • The first minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson
  • Falklands War veterans
  • Director of The British Forces Foundation Mark Cann
  • Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend John Sentamu
  • Broadcaster Sir David Frost
  • Broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald
  • Lyricist Sir Timothy Rice
  • Actress June Whitfield
  • Actress Joan Collins
  • Fashion designer Anya Hindmarch

Some of those attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral include:

  • Tony and Cherie Blair
  • Former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk
  • Singer Dame Shirley Bassey
  • Broadcaster and journalist Jeremy Clarkson
  • Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber
  • Lord and Lady Archer
  • Lord Powell of Bayswater
  • Lord Carrington
  • Canadian PM Stephen Harper
  • Former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney
  • Michael and Carolyn Portillo
  • Broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan and Lady Helen Wogan

Among those not attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral ceremony:

  • Ronald Reagan’s widow Nancy is understood to be too frail to travel
  • Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will not be attending due to health problems
  • Downing Street has confirmed that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will not be invited
  • Lord Kinnock – former Labour Leader of the Opposition – will not be present because of a commitment to attend the funeral of a former local councillor in Wales
  • Comedian Jim Davidson, a prominent Tory supporter during the 1980s, is understood not to have been invited

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An initial list of invitations to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on April 17 has been released by Downing Street.

All surviving US presidents and British prime ministers are on the guest list, as well as a representative of the Reagan family.

Ronald Reagan’s widow Nancy is understood to be too frail to travel.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will also not be attending owing to health problems, his spokesman has said.

The guest list for the event was drawn up by Margaret Thatcher’s family with the assistance of the government and the Conservative Party.

More than 2,000 invitations will be sent out, with most set to be dispatched on Friday.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are already confirmed for the ceremony, which will take place in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

It will be the first funeral of a British politician the Queen has attended since that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

The cathedral has a capacity of 2,300 and is expected to be full on the day.

All surviving members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinets will be invited, as will the current cabinet and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Other invited guests from around the globe include former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and a representative of Nelson Mandela.

Guests from the world of entertainment who have already confirmed their attendance include Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, Welsh singer Dame Shirley Bassey, broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, Lord Lloyd Webber and Sir Timothy Rice.

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral ceremony will take place at St Paul's Cathedral in London

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral ceremony will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral in London

Author Frederick Forsyth, a longstanding supporter of the Conservative Party, has also been invited, as have actresses Joan Collins and June Whitfield.

Veteran journalists Sir David Frost and Sir Trevor McDonald will be attending, alongside British fashion accessories designer Anya Hindmarch and the Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu.

Labour former PM’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have confirmed their attendance, as has Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, and Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last president of apartheid South Africa.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has not been invited, but the country’s ambassador to Britain has. Downing Street says this is in keeping with diplomatic protocol for such occasions.

Lord Kinnock, who was Labour leader for most of Margaret Thatcher’s time in Downing Street and was defeated by her at the 1987 election, will not be present because of a commitment to attend the funeral of a former local councilor in Wales.

More than 700 armed forces personnel will line the route of the procession from Westminster to St Paul’s, including three bands whose drums will be covered in black cloth.

A gun salute will be fired from the Tower of London and the coffin will be carried into St Paul’s by service personnel from regiments and ships closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

PM David Cameron said he believed it was right that Baroness Thatcher was being given a ceremonial funeral with full military honors.

“I think people would find us a pretty extraordinary country if we didn’t properly commemorate with dignity, with seriousness, but with also some fanfare … the passing of this extraordinary woman,” he said.

“I think not only in Britain would people say, <<You are not doing this properly>>, but I think the rest of the world would think we were completely wrong.”

David Cameron has previously welcomed suggestions as to how Margaret Thatcher could be commemorated.

The Mayor of London’s office, Westminster Council and the government are understood to be looking at a variety of central London sites, including Parliament Square, as a potential site for a new statue.

The Metropolitan Police said they were working to ensure the day of the funeral passed off safely, amid concerns that some people may use it as an opportunity to protest.

On the day of Margaret Thatcher’s death, there were small gatherings in various parts of the UK, notably in Glasgow, Bristol and London, with those taking part saying they were celebrating her death.

Met commander Christine Jones urged anyone wishing to demonstrate at the funeral to talk to the police.

“The right to protest is one that must be upheld,” she said.

“However, we will work to do that whilst balancing the rights of those who wish to pay their respects and those who wish to travel about London as usual.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has said “an administrative error” led to inaccurate guidance being issued to diplomatic staff in embassies around the world after it was reported they had been told to wear mourning clothes on the day of the funeral.

They were later told it was unnecessary.

Lady Margaret Thatcher, who won three successive general elections, died “peacefully” on Monday after suffering a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in central London.

Notable invitees at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral:

  • Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
  • All surviving ex-prime ministers
  • All surviving US presidents
  • All surviving members of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinets
  • Current cabinet
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband
  • First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Michael and Carolyn Portillo
  • Frederik Willem de Klerk
  • Dame Shirley Bassey
  • Jeremy Clarkson
  • Sir Terry Wogan
  • Joan Collins
  • Sir Trevor McDonald
  • Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber
  • Lord and Lady Archer

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John Lydon, famously known as Johnny Rotten when he was the singer in Punk icons The Sex Pistols back in the 1970s, says those now celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s death are “loathsome”.

Jonny Rotten, who knew the fame when Margaret Thatcher was rising to power, added: “I’m not going to dance on her grave.”

The former Sex Pistol said: “I was her enemy in her life but I will not be her enemy in her death.”

John Lydon, famously known as Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, says those now celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death are loathsome

John Lydon, famously known as Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, says those now celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s death are loathsome

Johnny Rotten also denied being a misogynist and a Nazi following a controversial appearance this week on Australian TV show, The Project.

During the interview John Lydon told presenter Carrie Bickmore: “Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Now listen, when a man is talking do not interrupt.”

The singer also gave a wave during the interview, which has been misinterpreted by some in the Australian media as a Nazi salute.

John Lydon, 57, spoke about Margaret Thatcher’s death when he arrived at Sydney’s domestic airport on Wednesday from Brisbane ahead of his band Public Image Limited’s performance in the city that night.

He said: “I’m not happy about the boo boo parties.
“When someone dies, give them respect. Enemy or not. I can’t be listening to folk who do that.

“What kind of politics are they offering me? You dance on another person’s grave? That’s loathsome.”

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Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will not be attended by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev due to health problems, his spokesman has announced.

Mikhail Gorbachev, 82, with whom the former British prime minister worked closely at the end of the Cold War, was expected to be one of a number of global figures attending.

Downing Street said consultation over the funeral guest list was continuing.

It has confirmed that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will not be invited.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are already confirmed for next Wednesday’s ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Margaret Thatcher's funeral will not be attended by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev due to health problems

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will not be attended by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev due to health problems

During her time in power Margaret Thatcher struck up an unlikely alliance with Mikhail Gorbachev, the reforming Soviet president who oversaw the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Following her death on Monday, Mikhail Gorbachev paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher as a “heavyweight politician and a striking person”.

On Wednesday, British MPs were recalled from their Easter break for a seven-hour Commons debate about Lady Thatcher.

British PM David Cameron said Margaret Thatcher “overcame the great challenges of her age”. Labour’s Ed Miliband paid tribute but said he disagreed “with much of what she did”.

Conservative MPs queued up in the Commons to pay their respects to Margaret Thatcher, who was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, but about half of Labour’s 256 MPs stayed away.

The Lords also held a debate on the former prime minister, with her former Cabinet ministers Lord Fowler and Lord Tebbit among those paying tribute.

The Guardian has reported that Commons Speaker John Bercow was taken aback by David Cameron’s request to recall Parliament because he thought tributes could be paid on Monday, when MPs were due to return.

The paper reports that a lengthy wrangle ensued, with David Cameron enlisting the support of Ed Miliband to overcome opposition to the move.

Responding to the report, a Downing Street spokesman said: “Only government ministers can request the recall of the House, which the Speaker then decides on.

“The prime minister felt given the strength of feeling following Lady Thatcher’s death it was appropriate to give the House an early opportunity to pay its respects.”

Discussions between PM David Cameron and the Speaker are ongoing about whether Prime Minister’s Questions, usually held at midday, will be cancelled next Wednesday to allow MPs to attend the funeral.

Speaker John Bercow could require MPs to attend the session later in the afternoon, rather than cancel it.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has said “an administrative error” led to inaccurate guidance being issued to diplomatic staff in embassies around the world after it was reported they had been told to wear mourning clothes on the day of the funeral.

They were later told it was unnecessary.

Guests who have said they will be attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral include ex-Labour PM’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as FW de Klerk, the last president of apartheid South Africa.

The Queen has not attended the funeral of a British politician since that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

More than 700 armed forces personnel will line the route of the procession from Westminster to St Paul’s, including three bands whose drums will be covered in black cloth.

A gun salute will be fired from the Tower of London and the coffin will be carried into St Paul’s by service personnel from regiments and ships closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

The Metropolitan Police said it was working to ensure the day passed off safely, amid concerns that some people may use it as an opportunity to protest.

On the day of Margaret Thatcher’s death, there were small gatherings in various parts of the UK, notably in Glasgow, Bristol and London, with those taking part saying they were celebrating her death.

Met Commander Christine Jones urged anyone wishing to demonstrate to at the funeral to talk to the police.

“The right to protest is one that must be upheld,” she said.

“However, we will work to do that whilst balancing the rights of those who wish to pay their respects and those who wish to travel about London as usual.”

Margaret Thatcher’s family is meeting an unspecified amount of the expense of the funeral, thought to cover transport, flowers and the cremation, with the government funding the rest, including security.

Downing Street said the cost of the funeral would not be released until after the event.

Margaret Thatcher, who won three successive general elections, died “peacefully” on Monday after suffering a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in central London.

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It isn't easy to ascertain when Margaret Thatcher first referred to her minimal sleep schedule, but the figure of four hours has passed into lore

It isn’t easy to ascertain when Margaret Thatcher first referred to her minimal sleep schedule, but the figure of four hours has passed into lore

Part of Margaret Thatcher’s fearsome reputation came from how little she slept; she could get by on four hours a night, it has often been said.

Former British PM Margaret Thatcher would keep her officials up working on a speech until two or three in the morning and then be up by five in time to listen to Farming Today (a BBC Radio 4 programme running every day from 5.45 a.m.).

“She slept four hours a night on weekdays,” said Sir Bernard Ingham, her Downing Street press secretary.

“I wasn’t with her at weekends. I guess she got a bit more then.”

It isn’t easy to ascertain when Margaret Thatcher first referred to her minimal sleep schedule, but the figure of four hours has passed into lore.

People use it as a benchmark of endurance, often jokingly referring to those who need much more.

Margaret Thatcher’s close friend and former Conservative Party treasurer Lord McAlpine stayed with her at Chequers during the holidays.

“She worked right through Christmas. When everyone else went off to bed she went off to work.”

Baroness Thatcher’s biographer John Campbell, author of The Iron Lady, said her late-to-bed, early-to-rise routine made her the “best informed person in the room”. Occasionally husband Denis Thatcher would snap. “Woman – bed!” he is reputed to have shouted on one occasion.

Margaret Thatcher’s frugal sleep pattern created a problem for her successor John Major.

“He found it difficult coming after her because the civil service had got used to a prime minister who never slept, and he used to sleep eight hours a night,” John Campbell said.

Sleep comes to be seen as part of a leader’s character. When Napoleon Bonaparte was asked how many hours sleep people need, he is said to have replied: “Six for a man, seven for a woman, eight for a fool.”

For the Iron Lady four hours was a badge of almost superhuman strength.

Winston Churchill survived on four hours a night during the war. But what is less often noted is that he had regular afternoon naps in his pyjamas.

Margaret Thatcher was not one for these afternoon sleeps.

“No, she wasn’t a napper,” Bernard Ingham said.

But is the four-hour measure something ordinary people should aspire to?

In the world of business it is certainly something people strive for. High-profile chief executives from Marissa Mayer at Yahoo! to Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi get by on four hours a night, while Donald Trump claims to survive on three.

Geraint Anderson, author of City Boy, who worked as an analyst and stockbroker for 12 years, recognizes the phenomenon.

“There was a real macho competition in the City about sleep. One of the ways of getting respect was bragging about how little you got.”

The hours were long – from 6.30 in the morning to seven at night. Socializing might mean staying out till three in the morning. And this was just the analysts. The corporate financiers were the real hard workers.

“They’d work into the early hours, get a couple of hours’ kip at the office and start again.”

To admit needing sleep was a sign of weakness: “After the Christmas or summer party you’d make sure you stayed the latest and came in a little earlier than normal the next morning.”

Lady Thatcher was not the cause but her name was regularly invoked by his bosses.

“They’d say she can get by on four hours to run the country. And she’s an old lady.”

As well as business, there have been military leaders who eschewed the eight hours and opted for the Spartan Thatcher credo.

General David Petraeus ate one meal a day and slept only four hours a night, it was reported.

There’s no correct amount of sleep, said Prof. Kevin Morgan, of Loughborough University’s sleep research centre.

The only rule is to sleep long enough to feel refreshed when you wake up.

For about 1% of people – probably including Margaret Thatcher – this will be as little as four hours a night, said Kevin Morgan.

“You can’t just suddenly become someone who sleeps this little,” he argued. It’s likely to have been a pattern common to her life before becoming prime minister.

It is a big advantage for visionary or creative people to be part of this so-called sleep elite. And for a statesman attending all-night summits it might be a huge advantage.

“The people around you are flagging. When people get tired the quality of their decision-making is compromised.”

Prof. James Horne, also at Loughborough’s sleep research centre, says that mood is critical. Soldiers high on adrenalin can function on little sleep: “It all depends if one gets a buzz out of what one’s doing. If you’re despondent, you tend to sleep more; if you’re excited you need less. Margaret Thatcher was someone who felt on top of things.”

The average adult sleeps seven hours a night but many sleep considerably less than this, especially people over 50. So it’s possible that Margaret Thatcher fell within the range of normality rather than the 1%, James Horne argued.

“She may have sometimes slept four hours and made up for her deficit by sleeping a little longer on other nights.

“You tend to attribute great things to great people, that they need no sleep or no food and have superhuman qualities.”

Matthew Parris, who was a fellow Conservative MP of Margaret Thatcher’s during the 1970s and 1980s, says it was probably more like four to five hours rather than the three to four that some have suggested. It took its toll and may have led to poor decisions, he believes.

Despite her toughness, Margaret Thatcher was often tired out, he remembers.

“When we were jammed into the lobby I would be looking at her from six inches away. I would often see the eyes of an exhausted woman.”

Recently there has been a move away from ostentatious sleeplessness. Burning the midnight oil in Gordon Brown’s case was perceived as evidence of obsessive worrying and weakness.

The work-life balance has arrived, even in Number 10. Tony Blair slept longer than Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown but made an exception to get up at night for baby Leo. George W. Bush was in bed by 10, unlike his predecessor Bill Clinton, who worked late and got by on four or five hours.

For artists, sleep deprivation carries a whiff of creative drive and raucous hedonism. Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones guitarist, once stayed awake for nine days – when he fell asleep, he fell down so quickly that he broke his nose.

Some of Margaret Thatcher’s comments have been described as “unabashedly racist” by Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr in an interview with a local broadcaster.

In a conversation with Margaret Thatcher “in her retirement”, Bob Carr said the former British prime minister had warned Australia against Asian immigration.

Margaret Thatcher said “if we allowed too much of it we’d see the natives of the land, the European settlers, overtaken by migrants”, Bob Carr recalled.

Some of Margaret Thatcher’s comments have been described as "unabashedly racist" by Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Some of Margaret Thatcher’s comments have been described as “unabashedly racist” by Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Baroness Thatcher, 87, died on Monday after suffering a series of strokes.

Bob Carr made his comments on the Australian broadcaster ABC’s Lateline programme.

He said he had been “astonished” at the comments by Margaret Thatcher, which were made while his Malaysian-born wife Helena was “standing not far away” but was “fortunately out of earshot”.

But he said he retained respect for the “boldness of her political leadership”.

Bob Carr prefaced his comments by saying Margaret Thatcher had been “the most significant” leader since Winston Churchill, forcing social democratic parties to “think more deeply about the function of the state”. Lady Thatcher had been “right in joining [former US President Ronald] Reagan and denouncing the old Soviet Union as an evil dictatorship”, he said.

“On 100 other things I would pick arguments with her and I recall one conversation I had with her in her retirement where she said something that was unabashedly racist, where she warned Australia – talking to me with Helena standing not far away – against Asian immigration, saying that if we allowed too much of it we’d see the natives of the land, the European settlers, overtaken by migrants.

“I couldn’t believe it. It reminded me that despite, yes, her greatness on those big questions, the role of the state, the evil nature of the Communist totalitarianism, there was an old-fashioned quality to her that was entirely out of touch and probably explained why her party removed her in the early 90s.”

Bob Carr went on to recall: “I remember one thing she said as part of that conversation, she said: <<You will end up like Fiji>>. She said: <<I like Sydney but you can’t allow the migrants>> – and in context she meant Asian migration – <<to take over, otherwise you will end up like Fiji where the Indian migrants have taken over>>.

“I was so astonished I don’t think I could think of an appropriate reply.”

Margaret Thatcher will be buried with full military honors at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday April 17.

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Cher fans were confused yesterday after they misread a Twitter hashtag referring to the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Soon after news broke Margaret Thatcher had passed away from a stroke, critics of the conservative politician started spreading the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead on the micro-blogging site.

But Cher fans misinterpreted the hashtag, reading it as “Now that Cher is dead” rather than “Now Thatcher is dead”.

Cher fans were confused yesterday after they misread a Twitter hashtag referring to the death of Margaret Thatcher

Cher fans were confused yesterday after they misread a Twitter hashtag referring to the death of Margaret Thatcher

The singer’s supporters took to Twitter to expressed their grief at the supposed passing of Cher.

Referring to their idol classic hits, they tweeted things like: “If only she COULD turn back time! #NowThatCherIsDead,” and “RIP Cher. At least now we’ll find out about life after love.”

Other fans expressed confusion and concern, tweeting: “Oh my god, Cher died?!? #nowthatcherisdead” and “So sad to hear that Cher is dead. #nowthatcherisdead.”

Some even thought both Cher and Margaret Thatcher had passed.

Cher, 66, who is usually very active on the micro-blogging site and has been known to go off on aggressive rants, kept quiet, which didn’t help shed light on the situation for her followers.

But it wasn’t long before Twitter users including comedian Ricky Gervais got in on the conversation.

Clearing up the confusion, Ricky Gervais tweeted: “Some people are in a frenzy over the hashtag #nowthatchersdead. It’s <<Now Thatcher’s dead>>. Not, <<Now that Cher’s dead>> JustSayin.”

Margaret Thatcher died Monday aged 87 in a luxury suite at the Ritz in London where she had spent months recuperating after an operation.

Baroness Thatcher was Britain’s first and only female prime minister and had many vehement critics.

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Margaret Thatcher’s death news has been broadcasted all over the world but a Taiwanese news station aired footage of Queen Elizabeth II while reporting the death of the former British Prime Minister.

CTi Cable flashed a headline declaring “Margaret Thatcher Dies of Stroke” while running two clips of the Queen shaking hands with members of the public.

The newscaster said: “We’ve learned the breaking news that ex Prime Minister, the Iron Lady, Thatcher, died at home in London due to stroke today, the 8th, this morning, at the age of 88.

CTi Cable flashed a headline declaring “Margaret Thatcher Dies of Stroke” while running two clips of the Queen shaking hands with members of the public

CTi Cable flashed a headline declaring “Margaret Thatcher Dies of Stroke” while running two clips of the Queen shaking hands with members of the public

“A spokesperson for Thatcher has publicly confirmed this news. What we know is that Thatcher has been suffering ill health in recent years.

“Since more than 10 years ago, she’s suffered numerous minor strokes. Just last December, she had surgery in London to remove a bladder tumor.”

It is not known why Cti Cable gave her age as 88, but it could either be an error or down to the Chinese custom of counting one’s age as starting with one when you are born.

The station apologized last night after viewers criticized the station for failing to distinguish between Margaret Thatcher and the Queen.

Meanwhile in Thailand, news producers for the country’s army-owned Channel 5 made a similar error, using a photograph of actress Meryl Streep when they reported news of Margaret Thatcher’s death this morning.

For nearly two minutes, the channel displayed Lady Thatcher’s biography alongside a picture of Meryl Streep in character for the film The Iron Lady, which tells the story of Margaret Thatcher’s life.

The production team wrote on Facebook later: “We will improve and develop our work more carefully and are deeply sorry.”

Margaret Thatcher died Monday at the Ritz Hotel in London aged 87 after suffering a massive stroke.

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