In line with the wishes of her family and with the Queen's consent, Lady Thatcher will receive a Ceremonial funeral with military honours. The service will be held at St Paul's Cathedral and is expected to take place next week.
A wide and diverse range of people and groups with connections to Lady Thatcher will be invited. The service will be followed by a private cremation.
*The Funeral *
The funeral will be a mix of the public and private. The service at St Paul’s Cathedral will be televised and members of the public can watch the coffin procession from the Palace of Westminster to St Paul’s.
Lady Thatcher’s wish was for the armed forces to be able to participate in the funeral – they will therefore have a key part to play.
On the day before the funeral, the coffin will be moved to Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster. There will be a short service following its arrival. The coffin will rest in the Chapel overnight.
On the day itself, the streets will be cleared of traffic and the coffin will travel by hearse from the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster to the Church of St Clement Danes, the RAF Chapel, on the Strand.
At the Church the coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery. The coffin will then be borne in Procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul’s Cathedral. The route will be lined by tri-service military personnel.
The coffin will be met at St Paul’s Cathedral by a guard of honour. Tri-service personnel and Pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea will line the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The coffin will be borne into and out of the Cathedral by a tri-service bearer party.
The guest list for St Paul’s will include family and friends of Lady Thatcher, those who worked with her over the years, including members of her Cabinets when she was Prime Minister, and representatives from a range of groups she was associated with. The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will attend and the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet will be invited.
Flags will be flown at half mast at Downing Street today and tomorrow, and will be again on the day of the funeral.
Lady Thatcher’s family have asked that, if people wish to pay their respects, they consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, rather than laying flowers. Details of how to do so available on the Royal Hospital Chelsea website.
The No.10 website will have a condolence page on which people will be able to write private messages for the Thatcher family.
The public will be unable to attend the funeral service itself but can line the route of the funeral procession from the RAF Church in the Strand to St Paul’s Cathedral.