Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral In London
LONDON — The United Kingdom was steeling itself to say a final formal farewell to the Iron Lady, the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who presided over the nation during a period of huge economic and social change from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher’s funeral is being held in London today.
A massive security operation is underway by Scotland Yard on the streets of London as Thatcher’s coffin will soon be carried in a horse-drawn gun carriage from the Royal Air Force chapel of St Clement Danes on the Strand to St Paul’s Cathedral, a journey of just over a mile through the heart of the capital.
The route will be lined by hundreds of military personnel from the three armed forces. After departing St Clement Danes, the procession will travel along Fleet Street and up Ludgate Hill. Her coffin will be draped in the Union Flag. It is scheduled to take 19 minutes.
At Thatcher’s request, military units with a connection to the 1982 Falklands War will be heavily represented.
After Thatcher’s coffin reaches St Paul’s, it will be carried up the steps of the cathedral to be met by over 2,000 dignitaries, friends, ex-colleagues and family members. The service at St Paul’s is due to start at 11 a.m. local time.
The Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will be among those attending the funeral.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and former secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger are also expected to be present at the service. George Shultz and James Baker will represent President Obama’s official delegation.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will attend, as will F.W. de Klerk, the former president of South Africa.
Some 4,000 police will be deployed in central London amid heightened security concerns in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings this week, and ahead of the London Marathon on Sunday when over 36,000 runners will take to the city’s streets.