Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Queen Leads 2,300 Mourners at Lady Thatcher's Funeral ; Great and Good Fill Cathedral for serviceLying Here, She Is One of Us, Says Bishop

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Queen Leads 2,300 Mourners at Lady Thatcher's Funeral ; Great and Good Fill Cathedral for serviceLying Here, She Is One of Us, Says Bishop

Article excerpt

THE Queen led mourners at the ceremonial funeral of Baroness Thatcher in St Paul's Cathedral as thousands lined the streets of London to pay their respects to the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Lady Thatcher, who died last week aged 87, was given full military honours, with the coffin bearing her body brought in procession to the cathedral on a gun carriage drawn by six black horses.

AT ST PAUL'S's, a congregation of more than 2,300 included all of her successors as prime minister - Sir John Major, Tony Blair, rdon Brown and David Cameron - as well as dignitaries from 170 countries around the globe.

They heard an address from Bishop of London Richard Chartres which, in keeping with the former PM's request for a religious funeral service rather than a memorial with eulogies, focused on her humanity rather than her political legacy.

Hailing Lady Thatcher's 'perseverance and courage', the Bishop recalled the obstacles she had to overcome to enter Parliament as a woman in 1959 and rise to the leadership of the Conservative Party, and spoke of the 'courtesy and personal kindness' she showed to those working for her.

Insisting that a funeral was not the place to pass judgment on her political record, he said: "The storm of conflicting opinions centres on the Mrs Thatcher who became a symbolic figure - even an 'ism'. Today the remains of the real Margaret Hilda Thatcher are here at her funeral service.

"Lying here, she is one of us, subject to the common destiny of all human beings."

Lady Thatcher's coffin, placed beneath the dome of St Paul's, was draped in a Union flag and topped by a floral tribute of white roses bearing the hand-written note 'Beloved Mother - Always in our Hearts' from her children Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher.

Walking ahead of the coffin as it entered the cathedral were Lady Thatcher's grandchildren Michael and Amanda, carrying cushions bearing her insignia of the Order of the Garter and Order of Merit. …

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