Thatcher Funeral To Be Held April 17 [VIDEO]
Queen Elizabeth II will be among the mourners at the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on April 17, officials announced Tuesday.
Buckingham Palace said the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, would attend the ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is expected to draw dignitaries from around the world.
The only other prime minister whose funeral the monarch has attended was that of Britain’s World War II leader, Winston Churchill, in 1965.
Churchill was the last British leader to receive a state funeral, also at St. Paul’s. Thatcher’s service, a ceremonial funeral with full military honors, is not officially a state funeral, which requires a vote in Parliament.
But the ceremony features the same level of pomp and honor afforded Princess Diana and the Queen Mother Elizabeth.
Thatcher’s coffin will lie overnight at the Houses of Parliament ahead of the funeral, before being taken by hearse to the church of St. Clement Danes and then, on a horse-drawn gun carriage, to the 17th-century cathedral along a route lined by military personnel.
The televised funeral will be followed by a private cremation.
Early Tuesday, undertakers removed Thatcher’s body from London’s Ritz Hotel where she died Monday at the age of 87. A van carrying Thatcher’s casket left the hotel for an undisclosed location, where it will remain during preparations for the funeral.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)