Margaret Thatcher's Funeral Procession To Begin In Westminster And End In St Paul's (MAP)

Margaret Thatcher's body will be taken back the Iron Lady's spiritual home, the Palace of Westminster, in preparation for her funeral next Wednesday, Downing Street has announced.

A Number 10 statement said the funeral will be televised and a route for the procession had been agreed.

Margaret Thatcher's funeral will take place next Wednesday

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to attend, along with former First Lady Nancy Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

It will be the first funeral of a prime minister that the Queen has attended since the death of Churchill in 1965. Winston Churchill's funeral was also held at St Paul's cathedral and Thatcher's procession will follow a similar route.

According to The Guardian, the funeral will be codenamed "Operation True Blue" and a government committee will meet on a daily basis to co-ordinate the event.

The remaining living Prime Ministers – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron – plus the Cabinet and shadow cabinet will attend the service.

The former Prime Minister has been granted a ceremonial funeral with full military honours - the same status that was accorded the Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Family spokesman Lord Bell said, contrary to a Daily Mail campaign, the frugal Iron Lady "specifically did not want a state funeral…and she didn’t want a fly-past as she thought that was a waste of money – somewhat in character you might think."

Costs for the funeral are expected to be shared by the Ministry of Defence and the Thatcher family.

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 procession will pass along Whitehall, past Trafalgar Square, down the Strand, across the Aldwych and then carry on up Ludgate Hill to reach St Paul’s cathedral.

Along the route, which is expected to be lined with well-wishers, personnel from the RAF, Navy and Army will pay tribute, and the hearse will be met at St Paul's by a guard of honour.

Members of the armed services and pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea will stand on the steps of St Paul's.

The funeral cortege will pass up Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square, along the Strand, round Aldwych and then up Ludgate Hill to St Paul’s.

A private family cremation will be held in Mortlake, south west London, after the public ceremony.

Parliament is expected to be suspended for the funeral, meaning the first Prime Minister's Questions session since the Easter break could be cancelled.

Popular in the Community