Friday, 12 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher through the years

All former U.S. presidents, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and a raft of global dignitaries are invited to the funeral next Wednesday of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Downing Street said Thursday. The guest list also includes representatives of the Reagan family, Nelson Mandela's family and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, alongside sitting British Prime Minister David Cameron. Any members of Thatcher's Cabinet who are still alive and members of the current UK Cabinet, as well as opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband, will also be asked to attend, Cameron's office said. Among those expected to come are F.W. de Klerk, the last apartheid-era president of South Africa, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and one of his predecessors, Brian Mulroney. Buckingham Palace has already confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, will be present. With full military honors, the funeral will rival those given to Diana, Princess of Wales and the Queen Mother. More than 2,000 invitations -- color-coded to indicate where the guests are to sit -- are being sent out, Cameron's office said. They are due to be mailed Friday. Details of the very formal dress code will be sent out with the invitations. St. Paul's Cathedral holds 2,300 people and is expected to be full on the day, Cameron's office said. Some friends of Thatcher have already said they will be absent.

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