Margaret Thatcher Funeral: Coffin To Be Carried By Falklands Personnel

More than 700 armed forces personnel will take part in the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, with her coffin to be carried to St Paul's cathedral those from units particularly associated with the Falklands conflict, a No 10 spokesman has said.

Tony Blair and his wife Cherie as well as Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah have confirmed they will attend the funeral. A number of high-profile guests are also expected to attend from across the world.

Planning is under way for the ceremonial funeral, which will have full military honours, at St Paul's Cathedral, next Wednesday, under an operation dubbed True Blue.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will attend - it is the first time the Queen has attended the funeral of a prime minister since Winston Churchill's in 1965.

Downing Street is expected to begin releasing details of the guest list on Wednesday, amid speculation that it could include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and ex-US first lady Nancy Reagan.

William Hague has defended the expected £8m cost of Thatcher's ceremonial funeral, saying the UK can "afford" to contribute.

Hague told the BBC that Thatcher had won a rebate from Europe in 1984 that had brought in £75bn so far. "I think that puts money in perspective," he said.

Details of the cost to the public purse will be published after next Wednesday's service has taken place.

MPs are due to debate Thatcher's legacy in a special session of parliament later on Wednesday. MPs from all sides are likely to pay tribute to the former prime minister, however some Labour MPs have expressed disquiet about whether it is appropriate to commemorate such a decisive figure in such a way.