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Margaret Thatcher`s funeral: As it happened

The United Kingdom is in mourning as it says adieu to the ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher.

Zee Media Bureau

London: The United Kingdom is in mourning as it says adieu to the ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher. The Baroness’ funeral service took place with much pomp and paegentry at St Paul`s Cathedral.

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip were among over 2300 dignitaries from 170 countries, who attended the ceremonial funeral of Britain`s most influential and divisive prime ministers.

Margaret Thatcher`s funeral: As it happened

Draped in a Union flag and adorned with white flowers, Thatcher’s coffin was taken from Westminster to St Paul`s Cathedral in a gun carriage.

After the funeral service was over, the coffin was taken to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, where her husband`s ashes are kept beneath a plaque.

The cremation will be held later today at Mortlake crematorium in south west London.

Live updates:

9.40 pm IST: The cremation of Margaret Thatcher takes place.
8.30 pm IST: Thatcher`s coffin is en route Mortlake crematorium where she would be laid to rest. Her husband, Denis too, was cremated here in 2003.

8.25 pm IST: The hearse carrying Margaret Thatcher`s coffin has left the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the private ccrematorium in south west London. Three ppolice outriders are in front of it and four cars are behind it.

8.20 pm IST: Meanwhile, the protesters at Goldthorpe carried the open coffin containing Thatcher`s effigy to a wasteground and set it on fire.

8.00 pm IST: The hearse is now about to leave the Royal hospital Chelsea for the Mortlake crematorium where tight security is in place.

7.00 pm IST: A large crowd of over two thousand people are protesting against Thatcher in South Yorkshire town of Goldthorpe. Though the crowd is non-violent, the roads have been blocked and traffic has been affected badly.

They are parading a open coffin carrying an effigy of Thatcher, which they are suppose to burn in a while.

6.40 pm IST: Some 60 nationalists have gathered at the Free Derry Corner in Londonderry, holding anti-Thatcher placards, reports the BBC.

It is a peaceful crowd, and no roads have been blocked. The protest was per-planned and the police is stationed to check any violence.

Thatcher`s funeral was accomplished very smoothly with just one minor untoward incident when few protesters booed en route the funeral procession.

6.35 pm IST: Celebrities and political dignitaries like Jeremy Clarkson, Shirley Bassey, opera singer Katherine Jenkins. are seen arriving at the reception.

6.10 pm IST: Thatcher`s family and PM Cameron have arrived at Guildhall reception, which is mainly for freinds and family of Baroness Thatcher.

6.00 pm IST: Thatcher`s family have left the reception at Mansion House, which is being hosted by William Hague and his wife Ffion, according to the BBC Radio 5.

5.40 pm IST: The hearse with Margaret Thatcher`s coffin is now resting at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The cremation will be held later at Mortlake crematorium, however some reports say that her ashes would be laid next to that of her husband Denis Thatcher at Chelsea.

5.30 pm IST:The Big ben which went silent as a mark of respect for Iron Lady will remain so for next 5 minutes.

5.00 pm IST
Thatcher`s coffin arrives at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea where her husband`s ashes are preserved.

4.45 pm IST: Cathedral bell ringers play `Stedman Cinques` for next half an hour as guests continue to leave the cathedral.

4.50 pm IST The queen and her husband leave the cathedral along with other guests who head for the reception.

Two receptions will be held after the funeral. The one at Mansion House will be hosted by Foreign Secretary Wiliam Hague and will bge attended by foreign state representatives and other VIPs.

Other reception will be at Guildhall. It will be for friends and family of Margaret Thatcher and other senior ministers.

PM David Cameron and Thatcher`s family will be attending both the receptions.

4.40 pm IST Crowds cheer as coffin leaves cathedral for the Royal Chelsea Hospital.

4.35 pm IST: The coffin is being taken out of the cathedral as bells of St Paul ring out.

4.30 pm IST:The Archbishop of Canterbury delivers the blessing

4.19 pm IST: Prayers being read

4.15 pm IST: Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, speaks at Thatcher`s funeral. Thatcher knew that institutions and social capital were necessary to make market economics work. She believe in inter-dependence, he says

4.10 pm IST: Prime Minister David Cameron gives the second reading
Earlier, the gun carriage and ceremonial procession set off from Westminster, to the sound of a funeral march played by a marching band as a silent crowd watches in respect.

The gun carriage was accompanied by Welsh Guards in ceremonial helmets.

Members of the Royal Horse Artillery, wearing red livery and busby hats, joined the bearing party around the coffin.

The attendees’ included British Prime Minister David Cameron -- of Thatcher`s Conservative party -- plus US political figures Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger, and the prime ministers of Canada, Israel, Italy, Poland and Kuwait.

Many in Britain have been cribbing about using the taxpayers’ money as the expenditure incurred in the funeral that is pegged at over 10 million pounds.

Although it is not officially a state funeral, Britain has pulled out all the stops for the Iron Lady, who transformed the country and helped end the Cold War during her 11 years in power.

The ceremony, nine days after Thatcher died from a stroke aged 87, is the first time the Queen has attended a prime ministerial funeral since Winston Churchill died in 1965.

However, the pomp and splendour have sparked criticism from those who argue that Thatcher was too polarising a figure to merit such a state-sponsored send-off.

From Zee News

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