Abbie Bethell Staff Writer
One of the most controversial yet inspirational public figures of the 20th Century, Margaret Thatcher has died today at the age of 87. The former British Prime Minister, had been in ill-health for quite some time prior to her death, she was staying in The Ritz Hotel, London, where she suffered the stroke that resulted in her death.
Baroness Thatcher as she might be referred to defied odds and became the first female prime minister in 1979. One of her most famous quotes is her paraphrasing of the ‘Prayer of St. Francis’, where she read: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope” This formed part of her speech outside 10 Downing St. after winning enough votes to become the
first UK female prime minister.
Known as ‘The Iron Lady’ Thatcher represented the Conservative party, she rose to the top of British politics, and went on to go somewhere no other woman had
evergone to occupy before (and still hasn’t too this date) 10 Downing St. With the support of her husband, Denis, and her two children Mark and Carol, Thatcher faced
manyissues during her time in office, some of which she addressed quite controversially. She was the type of leader who had people divided, for more reasons than one.
Additionally, she was criticised for her actions concerning the ownership of the Falklands (in Argentina) which was a colony that belonged to Great Britain. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, which led to a short, yet very bitter war, between the two nations, referred to as The Falklands War. The way Thatcher dealt with/handled the war, was indeed seen as controversial, some of her most defining traits were her inability to compromise, her defiance in her decision-making and her passion for her beloved country, Great Britain.
Her attitude was something that divided people’s opinions’, some seen her as a strong-willed, independent leader, whereas others seen her as selfish and irrational. “There is no such thing as society” was a famous quote made by Baroness Thatcher, stating that we are all selfish and we should act true to nature, which is to be selfish. Despite this, she was and still is an inspiration to many. As a shop-keeper’s daughter, her determination to get in to politics, which at the time was an extremely male dominant profession, is to be admired.
As expected, there has been a massive reaction to the news of her death, with statements being released by important public figures from across the world:
Current PM David Cameron:
“It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We have lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister, and a great Briton…Lady Thatcher didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country.”
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson:
“Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today’s politics.”
President, Barack Obama:
“The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend…She stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.”
The Queen is sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.
Former PM, Tony Blair:
Margaret Thatcher was a towering political figure. Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. Her global impact was vast.
Former US First Lady, Nancy Reagan:
It is well known that my husband and Lady Thatcher enjoyed a very special relationship as leaders of their respective countries during one of the most difficult and pivotal periods in modern history…As Prime Minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to “rock the boat”.
Meryl Streep, Actress who played the iconic PM, Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’:
Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the UK at the end of the 20th Century.
Piers Morgan, Journalist:
Love her or hate her, few British Prime Ministers in history were so well known, or so admired, here in America.
Her funeral is expected to take place either next Thursday or Friday (18 or 19th April) and will
notbe a state funeral; however it will still be a large ceremony. Her coffin will go through the streets before her ceremonial funeral, which is due to be aired on television. Downing Street issued a statement saying:
'On the day itself, the streets will be cleared of traffic and the coffin will travel by hearse from the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes, the RAF Chapel, on the Strand…At the church the coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Artillery. The coffin will then be borne in procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul's Cathedral. The route will be lined by tri-service military personnel…The service will be followed by a private cremation. All the arrangements being put in place are in line with wishes of Lady Thatcher's family.'
RIP Margaret, it’s without a doubt your legacy will live on - gone but not forgotten.
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