Margaret Thatcher funeral: The guest list

Last Updated: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 10:25

London: More than 2,000 global political figures, celebrities and even a couple of Margaret Thatcher`s old foes have been invited to her funeral in London on Wednesday. Here is a rundown of the guest list:

World Leaders Past and Present

Every surviving US President has been invited.

In a rare move, Britain`s Queen Elizabeth II is attending, the first time she has been at a former prime minister`s funeral since Winston Churchill died in 1965.

-Several political giants of Thatcher`s Cold War era are unable to attend due to ill-health. These include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, ex-German chancellor Helmut Kohl and Nancy Reagan, widow of former US president Ronald Reagan.

Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, was also sent an invite. Newt Gingrich, the Republican former White House hopeful, has confirmed his attendance.

Representatives of Nelson Mandela have been invited along with Mandela`s predecessor as South African president, FW De Klerk.

Canada`s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former Australian premier John Howard are confirmed guests.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and Malaysia`s former premier Mahathir Mohamad were also sent invites.

Argentina`s President Cristina Kirchner will be conspicuously absent, having not received an invite. Tensions between London and Buenos Aires have been rising over the Falkland Islands, which Thatcher recaptured in a brief but bloody 1982 war.

Showbiz and Media

Singer Shirley Bassey and actress Joan Collins have confirmed their attendance.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber, composer of many of the world`s best-loved musicals, will be there with his lyricist Tim Rice. Actor Michael Crawford, the first man to play the Phantom of the Opera, is also attending.

Jeremy Clarkson, outspoken presenter of the motoring TV show "Top Gear", is a confirmed guest, as is author Frederick Forsyth and Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins.

Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born media tycoon, was invited but has indicated he will not attend.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is attending.

Advertising baron Maurice Saatchi will be there. His agency oversaw Thatcher`s first winning election campaign in 1979.

Veteran journalists from Thatcher`s time in power are attending including David Frost, immortalised in Hollywood film "Frost/Nixon", and Irish presenter Terry Wogan.

Fashion designer Anya Hindmarch, who has long cited Thatcher as an influence and designed one of her famous handbags, will attend.

The British Establishment
Every surviving British Prime Minister will be there along with all current cabinet ministers and the leader of the opposition Labour party, Ed Miliband.

All of Thatcher`s surviving cabinet ministers have been invited including Michael Heseltine, whose dramatic challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party led to her ousting in 1990.

Neil Kinnock, who led the opposition Labour party for much of her term in power, was invited but is unable to attend due to the funeral of an old friend.

Senior military figures will attend along with Scotland Yard chief Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Falklands War Veterans are attending. Regiments that played a key role in the 1982 war -- one of the defining events of Thatcher`s era -- will feature prominently in the funeral ceremony.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who is leader of the world`s 80 million Anglicans, will give the final blessing.

AFP



First Published: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 10:25
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