Britain bids farewell to Margaret Thatcher

London, April 17 (IANS) The funeral of Margaret Thatcher, the first female British prime minister, was held Wednesday and was attended by Queen Elizabeth II, two heads of state and 11 prime ministers from across the world.

The funeral procession started 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul’s Cathedral, reported Xinhua.

The coffin, covered by a union flag, was taken on a gun carriage.

Bearers were personnel from units and regiments involved in the Malvinas (Falklands) campaign, which was always recognised as one of the highlights of Thatcher’s tenure.

About 4,000 police personnel were lined up along the route to ensure security. Flags on government buildings were lowered to half-mast, and the Big Ben on the Parliament Tower was set to be silenced for the funeral.

Prime Minister David Cameron said before the funeral that he “learnt a huge amount from watching” Thatcher at work, and today he felt “a great pride in all that she achieved, tinged with sadness”.

Dubbed the “Iron Lady”, Thatcher was the longest-serving prime minister in Britain during the last century, being in office for 11 years. She died April 8 from stroke, at the age of 87.

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