The former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher has passed away peacefully on April 8, 2013, after suffering a stroke. She was 87 years old and was the first woman to become the prime minister of Britain from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher’s funeral will be held at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral with full military honors, but it will not be a state funeral as per her own wishes.
Number 10 Downing Street has lowered the Union Jack to half-mast in honor of the former prime minister. Mr. Thatcher will return to the UK from Madrid today, after cancelling meetings with French President Francois Hollande.
Margaret Thatcher was a widely-loved public figure in Britain and served the country for 11 years, in which she privatized state-owned industries and went head to head with the unions during the 1984-1985 Miners’ Strike. When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 Lady Thatcher was at the helm as well. She even survived an attempt on her life, when the Brighton Grand Hotel was bombed by the IRA during the annual conference of the Conservative Party.
Lady Thatcher is also seen as a key person behind eastern Europe losing its communist ways, with many people keeping her leadership skills in high regard. Even her successor Sir John Major called Thatcher a ‘true force of nature’.