Iron Lady: Life and times

2013-04-08 15:13
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Margaret Thatcher - life in pictures

Britain's first female prime minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, has died following a stroke. See pictures of her life and time in office.

London - Here is a chronology of the life of Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, who died on Monday aged 87:

The path to power

- 13 October 1925: Margaret Hilda Roberts is born in Grantham, eastern England.

- October 1943: Begins chemistry degree at Oxford University.

- 13 December 1951: Marries businessman Denis Thatcher.

- 15 August 1953: Birth of twin children Carol and Mark.

- 8 October 1959: Harold Macmillan's Conservative Party comes to power. Thatcher elected Conservative member of parliament for Finchley, north London.

- 15 October 1964: Re-elected despite Labour Party victory; becomes in turn opposition spokesperson on pensions, then housing, treasury (deputy to finance spokesperson), energy, transport and education.

- 19 June 1970: Conservatives regain power; Thatcher appointed education and science secretary.

- 11 February 1975: Thatcher elected Conservative leader after party enters opposition.

- 5 June 1975: 67.2% of Britons vote in favour of remaining in European Community; Thatcher campaigned for "yes" camp.

- 3 May 1979: Conservatives win election landslide after financial, social problems of Labour government; Thatcher becomes Britain's first female prime minister.

In office

- 2 April 1982: Argentina's military junta invades Falkland Islands; a furious Thatcher sends troops and ships to recapture them.

- 14 June 1982: Argentina surrenders; Thatcher's popularity soars.

- 9 June 1983: Thatcher leads Conservatives to re-election.

- 12 March 1984: Coal miners' strike begins in northern England; drags on for a year before miners accept sweeping pit closures.

- 25-26 June 1984: Britain wins rebate on its European Community budget contributions.

- 12 October 1984: Irish Republican Army bombs Thatcher's hotel at Conservative annual conference in Brighton, southern England; she escapes injury but five others are killed.

- 20 November 1984: State-owned British Telecom is privatised.

- 16 December 1984: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets Thatcher; afterwards she calls him a man she "can do business with".

- 19 December 1984: Thatcher signs joint declaration to return Hong Kong to China in July 1997.

- 11 June 1987: Thatcher leads Conservatives to third straight term in office.

- 31 March 1990: Riots in central London lead to demise of much-despised local community charge on property or "poll tax".

- 9 August 1990: Thatcher commits Britain to US-led war with Iraq after dictator Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait.

- 28 November 1990: Resigns after revolt amongst Conservatives over Europe policy.

Post politics

- 30 June 1992: Takes her place in the upper House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

- 5 February 1994: Becomes chancellor of College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the oldest university in the United States after Harvard.

- May 1997: Endorses young protégé William Hague as he becomes new Conservative leader.

- 26 March 1999: Pays controversial visit to right-wing former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet, held under house arrest outside London as he faced extradition to Spain on human rights charges.

- 22 March 2002: Doctors, worried by a string of small strokes, order Thatcher to cease public speaking on health grounds.

- 26 June 2003: Husband Denis Thatcher dies.

- 11 June 2004: Attends funeral in Washington for former US president and ideological soulmate Ronald Reagan, who she hails in a video-taped eulogy as a great American who "won the Cold War".

- 13 October 2005: Celebrates her 80th birthday with a party at a chic London hotel with Queen Elizabeth II among the guests.

- 7 December 2005: Hospitalised for a night in London after complaining of feeling faint. Daughter Carol later reveals Thatcher suffers from memory loss.

- 7 March 2008: Spends night in hospital after feeling unwell at a parliamentary function.

- June 2009: Spends two weeks in hospital after breaking left arm in a fall at home.

- 8 June 2010: After winning the May general election, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes her back to Downing Street for a reception in her honour.

- 14 October 2010: Misses her 85th birthday party at Downing Street with flu before being admitted to hospital with an infection.

- 20 December 2012: Admitted to hospital after procedure to remove a growth from her bladder.

- 8 April 2013: Dies aged 87 following a stroke.

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