Baroness Thatcher’s funeral April 17th, attended by Queen

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‘Well-known hymns and poems will mark next Wednesday’s funeral of Baroness Thatcher’, Downing Street says.

Latest details of the ceremony include the hymns He Who Would Valiant Be, I Vow to Thee My Country and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

Readings will include: Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality and TS Eliot’s Little Gidding.

T. S. Eliot
Little Gidding V

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half heard, in the stillness
Between the two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always–
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Britain former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral will be held with full military honors in London.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people took part in a demonstration condemning Lady Thatcher in Trafalgar Square, London.

The protesters danced and sang around a large effigy of the late prime minister and chanted slogans.

Scotland Yard says nine people were arrested during the protest – five of them for being drunk and disorderly.

Chelsea link

Fourteen Chelsea Pensioners will line the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday as the cortege and military escort draw up to the sound of a half-muffled bell.

Lady Thatcher, who died at the age of 87 on 8 April, had strong connections to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the Pensioners, over the last 10 years. The Margaret Thatcher Infirmary opened there in 2009.

The coffin will be carried into and out of the cathedral by bearers from military units closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

The BBC’s Tom Symonds reports on the protest in central London

The processional band will be a band of the Royal Marines and there will be a gun salute at the Tower of London.

Senior politicians and foreign heads of state will take their seats under the dome of St Paul’s before members of the Thatcher family followed by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are escorted from the Great West Door.

thatcher-grandchildrenIn front of the coffin, her grandchildren Michael and Amanda Thatcher will carry cushions bearing the insignia of two orders she was appointed to – the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit – and lay them on the Dome Altar.

Amanda and Michael Thatcher, who attended the funeral of their grandfather in 2003, will head back to London next week to attend the memorial service for their grandmother, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, next week.

At the foot of the lectern there will be arrangements of white lilies and greenery.

Amanda Thatcher and prime minister David Cameron will deliver the two readings from the King James Bible.

Downing Street said Lady Thatcher wanted the service to be “framed” by British music.

At the end of a service will come the patriotic hymn I Vow to Thee my Country, written by Cecil Spring-Rice to the music of Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite.

Archbishop’s blessing

The Bishop of London Richard Chartres will preach, and the blessing will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The ticket-only funeral will be followed by a private cremation. Lady Thatcher’s family have asked well-wishers to consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, rather than giving flowers.

Downing Street says Lady Thatcher’s estate has offered to will make a contribution to the costs of the funeral.

It is not clear what proportion that will be, although it is likely to cover at least the regular parts of a funeral including transport, flowers and cremation.

The more substantial costs, such as the planned military procession and security, will fall to various government departments.

Lady Thatcher has been awarded a ceremonial funeral with military honours – one step down from a state funeral.

As her health deteriorated in recent years, the issue of whether she should be granted a state funeral grew increasingly controversial.

However, it has emerged that she rejected the idea herself and also insisted she did not want her body to lie in state or money to be spent on a fly-past. But it was also her wish that the armed forces play a key part.

Tuesday service

Downing Street said Lady Thatcher had requested her body rest overnight in Parliament’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, and the Queen had given her consent.

About 100 people will be invited to a short service on Tuesday evening led by the Dean of Westminster, which will be attended by her family, MPs and peers.

On Wednesday, Lady Thatcher’s coffin will travel by hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes – the Central Church of the Royal Air Force – on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery and taken in procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul’s Cathedral. The route will be lined by military personnel from all three services.

The Metropolitan Police acknowledges the “potential for protest” but says it will want to ensure the wishes of those paying their respects will be upheld.

‘Tearful week’ for Thatcher daughter

Carol Thatcher says she is expecting “a tough and tearful week, even for the daughter of the Iron Lady” as she prepares for Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.

thatcher-leadAnalysis of Thatcherism’s legacy

How will history remember Thatcher?
Privatisation, manufacturing decline, home ownership. Britain changed hugely in the 1980s. Was Margaret Thatcher really responsible?

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