Queen Elizabeth leads mourners at Baroness Thatcher's funeral


Britain's Queen Elizabeth led the way at Baroness Margaret Thatcher's funeral yesterday.

The monarch paid tribute to the former British Prime Minister ? who passed away last week aged 87 after suffering a stroke ? by breaking with tradition to make an appearance at the military ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral in London.

The queen and her husband Prince Philip (91) arrived 10 minutes before the coffin, which was lead into the house of worship by the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, and his Mourning Sword, which was last used at Winston Churchill’s funeral. (The position of Lord Mayor is elected annually and is an unpaid, non-political position.)

Despite historically not being allowed to attend non-royal funerals, the couple made an exception to honour the controversial Conservative Party leader. The only other time the monarch had been part of such an event was for Winston Churchill's memorial service in 1965.

Thatcher was the queen's eighth and longest-serving prime minister over the course of her lengthy reign.

Sarah Ferguson ? Prince Andrew's ex-wife and mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie ? was also among the 2 300 guests to pay their respects to the late politician, whom she was especially close to.

The Duchess of York, who arrived shortly after the cathedral doors opened at 9.15 am, commented at the time of Thatcher’s death last Monday: "I was fortunate enough to get to know her from the time that she attended my wedding in 1986 and, subsequently, I shared numerous cups of tea with her, and loved to listen to her wisdom.

"Margaret Thatcher will be greatly missed. She is part of all our history and was such a strong and consistent lady."

Prime Minister David Cameron, opera singer Katherine Jenkins and actress Joan Collins were also in attendance.

-Bang Showbiz

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