London, UK — Margaret Thatcher’s funeral today apparently proceeded in an orderly, dignified fashion. The civil unrest or violence that was of grave concern to security officials — particularly in the aftermath of street celebrations by left-wing Thatcher haters — never emerged.
Security was tight, however, with 4,000 cops making sure any demonstrations against Margaret Thatcher never got out of hand.
More than 100,000 spectators witnessed the funeral procession that culminated at St. Paul’s Cathedral. About 2,000 dignitaries (not including President Obama) from around the world attended the funeral itself.
The former UK prime minister, nicknamed the “Iron Lady” for her decisive leadership style, passed away Monday at age 87 from a stroke. Mrs. Thatcher, the then-leader of the Conservative Party, is the only woman to have served as the head of the British government.
According to the London Telegraph, despite the impression projected by many of Thatcher’s vocal foes on the street and in social media, as the funeral procession and the hearse came in to view, onlookers broke into enthusiastic applause, often drowning out any protesters. “The applause wasn’t rowdy; there were no whoops or whistles. It was steady, warm, dignified … Ever since the news of her death last Monday, we have been told one thing above all else about the former Prime Minister: that she was divisive. Well, maybe she was. But you wouldn’t necessarily have known it yesterday along the route of her funeral procession. From Westminster to St Paul’s, mourners crammed the pavements, in places standing 12 deep.”
Added the Daily Mail: “In a swathe that stretched nearly three miles through London, the ordinary people of Middle England turned out in their tens of thousands for Margaret Hilda Thatcher. There were dissenters, of course, but this was one day when the jeers were massively overwhelmed by the cheers. In a quite remarkable tribute to the woman many describe as our greatest peacetime prime minister, they threw flowers, applauded … and remembered a leader who, as a Falklands veteran paratrooper perfectly summarized it: ‘Put the Great back in Great Britain.’ ”
Margaret Thatcher served as UK prime minister from 1979 to 1990. In the third video embedded below, her final appearance in the House of Commons for what’s called prime minister “question time,” Margaret Thatcher forcefully gives her views on socialism and expresses her opposition to the European Union.”
[Top image credit: Margaret Thatcher Foundation]