Margaret Thatcher could be given a state funeral but the former prime minister does not want members of the public to pay their respects while she lies in state, plans briefed to The Sunday Times have revealed.
In what would be the first state funeral for a commoner since Winston Churchill, the plans, which were originally mooted by Tony Blair in 2006, would require a parliamentary motion to receive official state backing. And with cabinet secretary Francis Maude set to disclose further details this week, the Iron Lady has been characteristically firm with her funeral plans, requesting:
To lie in state in Westminster Hall, with viewing restricted to MPs and Lords
An orchestra playing Edward Elgarís Land of Hope and Glory
A procession from Westminster to St Paulís Cathedral
She has rejected a military flypast
And finally, she wishes to be laid to rest beside Denis Thatcher in the cemetery of the Royal Chelsea Hospital.
The ceremony is likely to be something of a 1980s reunion, with Nancy Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev heading the list of overseas personalities from the glory years. The Cold War stalwarts will likely stir a sense of nostalgia from patriots harking back to the days of mass strikes, high unemployment and state malaise.
Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra m‚d,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.
Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
Tra mŰr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.