The Queen will attend the funeral of Margaret Thatcher next Wednesday, the first time that she has attended a prime minister’s funeral since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.
The decision is bound to infuriate those who claim Thatcher was a force for ill in the UK.
According to The (paywalled) London Times, the Queen gave her consent “some time ago” to the proposal by the Government that Lady Thatcher be given a ceremonial funeral with military honours, however it will not be a state funeral.
Lord Bell, her friend and spokesman, 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.”
A source at the Palace told the Times, “The Queen regularly sends representatives to funerals on her behalf, whether it is senior members of the household or senior members of the Royal Family. The fact that she has decided to go herself is significant.”
Undertakers last night removed the former Prime Minister’s body from the Ritz Hotel in Central London, where she died after a stroke while reading in bed yesterday morning.
The funeral policing arrangements are being codenamed "Operation True Blue" and police will line the funeral route to prevent protests. Last night several policeman were injured at street parties celebrating Thatcher's death.