Thatcher: No state funeral but military honours

The funeral will take place at St Paul's Cathedral. Picture: PA
The funeral will take place at St Paul's Cathedral. Picture: PA
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Baroness Thatcher will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Downing Street has said.

The Queen has authorised a ceremonial funeral – a step short of a state funeral. Downing Street said it would be attended by a “wide and diverse range of people”, and be followed by a private cremation.

It did not provide further details on the timing of the service, saying only the arrangements were “in line with the wishes” of her family.

Baroness Thatcher did not want a state funeral and thought a fly-past over the service would be a “waste of money”, her friend and spokesman Lord Bell said.

Some Tory MPs had called for a state funeral, such as the one for Sir Winston Churchill.

But Lord Bell said: “She specifically did not want a state funeral and nor did her family. She particularly did not wish to lie in state, as she thought that was not appropriate.

“And she didn’t want a fly-past as she thought that was a waste of money – somewhat in character you might think.

“She expressed those views to me personally and she will get what she wanted.”

His comments came after several Tory MPs called for a full state funeral.

Alun Cairns, of Vale of Glamorgan, tweeted: “Margaret Thatcher deserves a state funeral after transforming our nation in such a positive way. The changes were never reversed.”

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke said he thought she should receive a full state funeral but he respected the family’s wishes. He said: “My personal view is that an appropriate celebration of her life would be a state funeral with full honours. However, I understand that her and her family’s wishes were not to have that and I respect that.”