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Controversial ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher: Loved, Hated, Never Forgotten

Margaret Thatche Loved, Hated, Never ForgottenThe controversial Iron Lady who shaped a generation of British politics and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.  She was 87-year old. Tributes began pouring in from world leaders shortly after her death was announced on Monday morning.

The former premier, who led Britain from 1979 to 1990, suffered from dementia and appeared rarely in public in the recent years. British prime minster David Cameron hailed Lady Thatcher yesterday as ‘the patriot prime minister’, the Queen expressed her sadness and President Obama said she had shown ‘our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered’.

Obama said: “As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.”

BBC News reports that Lady Thatcher will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. The ceremony, with full military honours, will take place at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

British tabloids report that ceremony is expected to cost up to £8million and is the biggest of its kind for a politician since Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral in 1965. On the world stage, she built a close special relationship with US President Ronald Reagan, which helped bring the curtain down on Soviet Communism.

She also fiercely opposed closer ties with Europe. Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former PM Edward Heath for her party’s leadership in 1975 and won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.

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