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Maggie Thatcher funeral post

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The funeral of Britain's most influential and controversial post-war prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, will take place on Wednesday at St Paul's Cathedral in a ceremonial service with full military honours.

More than 2,300 guests from across the world are expected to attend to pay their respects to the country's first and only female leader, who died from a stroke on 8 April aged 87.

The capital will come to a standstill as military personnel and members of the public line the streets to watch as Lady Thatcher's coffin – draped in a union flag – travels along the procession route to the cathedral.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will attend the service along with the prime minister, David Cameron, and former leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

It will be the first time Her Majesty will have attended a funeral of a British prime minister since that of Winston Churchill in 1965.

Thatcher's funeral has been marred with controversy following the decision to grant the former prime minister a ceremonial service – one step down from a state funeral – at an estimated cost of £10m to the taxpayer.

MPs and other public figures have criticised the move, claiming that Thatcher divided the nation and should not be awarded such a prestigious ceremony.

More than 4,000 officers will be on duty during the ceremony amid fears it could be disrupted by protesters after several celebration parties were held across the country to mark her death.

Police have also tightened security along the procession in the wake of the bombings during the Boston Marathon on Monday, which have been linked to a terrorist attack.

On Tuesday, Thatcher's coffin was moved to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster where a private service was attended by close friends and family, including her children Carol and Mark and former members of her government.
The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, described it as a "short but moving" ceremony, adding: "It's different from tomorrow, because this event was personal.

Lots of people were there for personal reasons - each of us summing up what you owe her."

At 10am, the coffin will travel by hearse from Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes, the RAF Chapel, on the Strand.

With flags across the capital flying at half mast, it will then be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by six horses from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery as it starts on its procession.

About 700 military personnel from all three services will line the route while processional minute guns are fired from the Tower Wharf at the Tower for the duration of its journey.

The service at St Paul's Cathedral is expected to be a humble affair and has been six years in the planning, with Thatcher playing a significant role in its delivery. Speaking yesterday, Very Rev Dr David Ison, who will give the bidding at the ceremony, said: "Mrs Thatcher wanted something that was very simple and it is not at all triumphalist.

"At its heart it's a funeral like any other funeral, bearing in mind people have to remember that it's not a celebration of somebody's life, it's not a memorial service.

"It's an occasion to do the last thing that we can for a human being, which is to commend somebody to God."

More than 2,300 guests have confirmed their attendance, including 32 current cabinet-level ministers and about 30 from Thatcher's government between 1979 and 1990.

There will also be more than 50 guests associated with the Falkland Islands, including veterans, to mark the significant chapter the war played during Thatcher's leadership.

But Argentina's ambassador to London, Alicia Castro, has declined an invitation to attend the funeral, in what was being seen as a mark of continuing sensitivity over the islands.

The US government's official presidential delegation will be led by George Shultz and James Baker, who both served as secretaries of state during the Thatcher era.

Altogether, around 170 countries will be represented by dignitaries such as members of royal families, politicians, and senior diplomats.

Thatcher's coffin is expected to arrive at St Paul's at 11am when the funeral service will begin and is due to last just under an hour.

At Thatcher's request prior to her death, Britain's serving prime minister will deliver a reading at her funeral. Cameron will recite a lesson from the King James Bible.

The service is a traditional affair and includes a selection of well-known hymns, including Charles Wesley's Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, as well as poems by Wordsworth and TS Eliot.

After the service, the coffin will travel by hearse to the Royal Hospital Chelsea and a private cremation at Mortlake crematorium will take place in the evening.

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i dont know if this will get accepted in time for her funeral starting but get your milk at the ready,this is gonna be a good a party!!!!

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