The Royalist

04.17.13

Live Blogging Thatcher’s London Funeral

All the updates from Margaret Thatcher’s funeral in London today.
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George Osborne, Chancellor, cries during Thatcher funeral (C4 News)

12:54 Thanks for joining us, this post brings to an end out live updates.

11:55 The service is over and the coffin is now being marched out of the funeral. However the image of the day looks set to be tears rolling down the face of George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, during the funeral address by the Bishop of London.

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Stefan Wermuth/Reuters, via Landov

11:31 David Cameron has given the second reading, from John 14:1-6. This reading was also requested by Thatcher herself, to be read by the prime minister of the day.
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
"In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
"And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

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Amanda Thatcher, the granddaughter of late British former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. (Andrew Cowie / AFP / Getty Images)

11:22 Amanda Thatcher, 19, is about to read the first lesson (the other will be delivered by David Cameron).

Thatcher's beloved grandchildren, Michael, 24; and Amanda, 19, are the children of Margaret's son, Mark, now divorced from their mother, Diane.

Michael and Amanda are, according to The Guardian, described by friends as "modest, unshowy young people, both of whom, under Diane's influence, are dedicated evangelical Christians, and whose social and political conservatism met with their grandmother's vocal approval."

Amanda Thatcher is now studying at the University of Richmond in Virginia; her school reports show a talented sportswoman, excelling in athletics, and who was voted "most likely to change the world" by her high school peers. She has done missionary work in China.

11:16 First pictures of the coffin on the gun carriage being carried through London coming in now.

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Getty Images
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Matt Cardy

11:12 The dean of St. Paul's, the Very Rev. David Ison, has just read "the bidding" saying:

We come to this cathedral today to remember before God Margaret Hilda Thatcher, to give thanks for her life and work, and to commend her into God’s hands. We recall with great gratitude her leadership of this nation, her courage, her steadfastness, and her resolve to accomplish what she believed to be right for the common good. We remember the values by which she lived, the ideals she embraced, her dignity, her diligence, her courtesy, and her personal concern for the well-being of individuals.

"And as we remember, so we rejoice in the lifelong companionship she enjoyed with Denis, and we pray for her family and friends and for all who mourn her passing.

"We continue to pray for this nation, giving thanks for its traditions of freedom, for the rule of law and for parliamentary democracy; remembering the part we have played in peace and conflict over many centuries and in all parts of the world; praying for all today who suffer and sorrow in sickness, poverty, oppression or despair, that in harmony and truth we may seek to be channels of Christ’s faith, hope, and compassion to all the world."

10:57 The service proper is about to kick off. The coffin is being carried into the Cathedral.

10:55 Even for dyed-in-the-wool monarchists such as myself, British pageantry throws up surprises. Just now, for example, as Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh entered St. Paul's clad in mourning clothes, they were processed down the central aisle by the Lord Mayor of London carrying something called “the mourning sword”—a large black steel sword last wielded at the funeral of Sir Winston. We'll get a pic up of this fabulously somber piece of weaponry as soon as they drop.

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WPA Pool

10:43 Very little evidence of protesters bar the audio of some unfortunate booing on the BBC's broadcast. Protester vastly outnumbered by fans clapping, cheering and even singing “Jerusalem”!

10:40 Wonderful and solemn scenes as the gun carriage bearing Lady Thatcher's flag-draped coffin begins its journey to St. Paul's.

Meanwhile, Mark Thatcher and his children have arrived at St. Paul's. The queen is expected shortly.

The true extent of this ceremony is now clear for all to see.

10:20 the gun carriage, the procession band and escort party have taken up position at St. Clement Danes and the Guard of Honour is in position at St. Paul’s Church Yard.

In about 12 minutes the gun carriage and bearer party and escort party, led by a band of the Royal Marines, will lead off.

10:00 The coffin is on the move exactly on time. The first part of the journey is motorized—with the hearse traveling along Whitehall. The coffin will then travel from St. Clement Danes on the Strand by gun carriage to St. Paul's, where mourners including Tony Blair and Sarah Ferguson are being seated. The crowds along the procession route are clapping as the car passes. About 100 protesters mounted a pretty lame protest at Ludgate circus chanting “Waste of Money.” Hopefully that will be it for the protests. Other crowd members singing “Jerusalem.”

Great Youtube footage (below) of the last P.M.'s funeral to be attended by the queen, that of Winston Churchill. Set to the tune of "I Vow to Thee My Country," it finds the Royalist on the verge of patriotic tears.

Video screenshot

09:38 Cleverly avoiding saying "I am a Thatcherite" whilst still closely aligning himself with the Iron Lady's legacy, David Cameron has said, "We are all Thatcherites now" while  speaking on Radio 4 this morning, adding, "One of the things about her legacy is some of those big arguments we had everyone now accepts."

The prime minister also said it is "absolutely fitting and right" to give Lady Thatcher a ceremonial funeral. Cameron will be reading a lesson.

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The coffin of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher rests in the Crypt Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft beneath the Houses of Parliament. (Leon Neal / WPA Pool / Getty Images)

09:18 Welcome to our live coverage of Thatcher's funeral. Here is a round-up of this mornings main developments:

Margaret Thatcher's coffin has been resting overnight in the chapel at the Houses of Parliament (picture above). It is expected to be moved in the next hour or so.

Protesters are massing at key points along the procession like Ludgate Circus. While some have said they will simply turn their backs on the cortege as it passes as a show of disrespect, others have said they will sound horns.

According to The Telegraph,  "Police have told one protester on the funeral procession that she can't sing ‘Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead,’ but can turn her back on cortège."

London will come to a standstill for Baroness Thatcher's funeral Wednesday, and here on the Royalist we will be live blogging throughout the day.

Until we get kicked off, here's something to keep the most avid Thatcher fan occupied: the 20-page Order of Service released by St. Paul's Cathedral.

The Falklands gets mentioned on page three; there is music by Elgar (of course) and Parry.

The funeral was planned in detail by Thatcher herself.

The Very Rev. Dr. David Ison, who will give the bidding at the service, told The Guardian: "The text of the service was planned in conjunction with Thatcher herself and her family … there is no tribute. There is no eulogy, and that was Mrs. Thatcher's decision. It's not being triumphalist. It's not a celebration of her life and her achievements. It is very much a service of commending her in God's love and mercy, bearing in mind that she, like all of us, is human, and will have fallen short of her own ideals, let alone in the way in which we fall short of other people's ideals."

We'll be posting running commentary on this page from 9 a.m. London time.