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Lady Thatcher's ashes laid to rest

Carol and Mark Thatcher attend the service to bury their mother's ashes Credit: PA

Baroness Thatcher's ashes were laid to rest today in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Members of her family including her children Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher attended a short church service in the chapel of the central London site before a solid oak casket containing her ashes was placed in the ground.

Lady Thatcher's ashes were placed alongside those of husband Denis Credit: PA

A headstone bearing the simple inscription "Margaret Thatcher 1925 - 2013" was being erected on top of her final resting place in the leafy grounds of the hospital.

The country's first female prime minister died aged 87 on April 8.


Margaret Thatcher tribute choices unveiled

An artist’s impression of how a statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher could look outside Grantham Museum Credit: PA

Potential memorials for the late Margaret Thatcher in her hometown of Grantham have been revealed.

Two statues show the Iran Lady with her famous handbag standing tall in centre of Grantham, while a third portrays her in a more relaxed pose sitting down.

Baroness Thatcher's statue could be neighbours with the sculpture of Sir Isaac Newton, who was educated in Grantham and brought up nearby in Woolsthorpe Manor.

Proposals for a statue in Grantham of the UK's first female prime minister, who died in April aged 87, have proved to be controversial with suggestions it might need to be on a plinth to protect it from vandals.

Thatcher declared IRA jailbreak 'worse than we thought'

Margaret Thatcher declared it was "even worse than we thought" after learning the details behind the break out at the top security Maze prison in which 38 IRA inmates went on the run.

Undated file photo of the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA Wire

The then-Prime Minister penned her thoughts across the top of a secret Government document which landed on her desk five days after the mass escape from the Northern Ireland jail on 25 September, 1983, became the worst prison break-out in British history.

In the immediate aftermath, strongly-worded advice sent by telegram from the Foreign Office to its territories stressed, "You should take every opportunity to limit the propaganda benefit the IRA will reap from the outbreak ... The Government regard the outbreak most seriously."

Laser weapon was deployed to Falklands, papers show

Britain deployed a laser weapon to the Falklands that was designed to "dazzle" Argentine pilots during battle, newly-released Government papers reveal.

Despite being quietly and hurriedly developed, the weapon was never used in action, according to a 1983 document released by the National Archives today.

Margaret Thatcher and Michael Heseltine in May 1983 at a Conservative Party press conference. Credit: PA/PA Archive

The letter is dated January 1983 and marked "Top Secret and UK Eyes A," from the then newly-appointed Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Mr Heseltine wrote: "We developed and deployed with very great urgency a naval laser weapon, designed to dazzle low flying Argentine pilots attacking ships, to the Task Force in the South Atlantic.

"This weapon was not used in action and knowledge of it has been kept to a very restricted level."

Special relationship strained over Grenada invasion

The close bond between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan was almost broken over the US invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan during an official White House visit Credit: PA

Official documents released by the National Archives reveal the then-US President only informed Downing Street of the plan the night before troops moved in.

Mrs Thatcher said she was "deeply disturbed" by the military action.


Hague 'bore no hard feelings' after Thatcher's veto

William Hague bore no hard feelings after Margaret Thatcher vetoed his appointment as a special adviser in 1983, a source close to the Foreign Secretary has said.

Mrs Thatcher, the then-Prime Minister, noted at the time, "Promising though he is, it is a bit difficult to see what a 21-year-old will contribute as a special adviser".

Margaret Thatcher and William Hague in 1997, when he was a Conservative Party leadership contender. Credit: Tony Harris/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Hague, who instead was offered a role at the Conservative Research Department, felt his time there had been "a wonderful introduction to politics at a high level", the unnamed source said.

"The Foreign Secretary thinks that Margaret Thatcher was, as usual, right", they continued.

"He is still very proud that Margaret Thatcher gave him her backing when he stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party 14 years later."

Thatcher vetoed Hague's first foray into politics

William Hague's first attempt to enter politics was blackballed by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, newly-released Government papers show.

Mrs Thatcher had been among those cheering the future Foreign Secretary when, as a 16-year-old schoolboy, he delivered a speech that took the Conservative Party conference by storm.

Margaret Thatcher and William Hague pictured in October 1977 when he made his speech to the Tory conference. Credit: PA/PA Archive

Mrs Thatcher was less impressed when - as a 21-year-old Oxford graduate - he tried to secure a prestigious posting as special adviser to the Chancellor.

Papers released by the National Archives at Kew, west London, show she angrily blocked the move, denouncing it as a "gimmick" and an "embarrassment" to her Government.

When senior Treasury official John Kerr requested approval for his appointment in a letter dated March 17 1983, Mrs Thatcher scrawled across the top in thick black ink, "No [triple underlined] - this is a gimmick and would be deeply resented by many who have financial-economic experience."

Margaret Thatcher 'fought' to knight Savile

Margaret Thatcher with Jimmy Saville outside No 10 Downing Street. Credit: PA Archive

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher made repeated attempts to get Jimmy Savile knighted - despite pleas from her concerned aides - it has been reported.

Previously unseen Cabinet Office documents from Lady Thatcher's premiership obtained by The Sun newspaper admit to advisers' "worries" about Savile being made a "Sir" against a backdrop of "unfortunate revelations" about his private life.

The television star was knighted for his services to charity in 1990.

One adviser's letter to the PM, published in The Sun today, stated: "Mr Savile is a strange and complex man."

It adds: "Fears have been expressed that Mr Savile might not be able to refrain from exploiting a knighthood in a way which brought the honours system into disrepute."

One in eight voters support 'Margaret Thatcher Day'

Only one voter in eight would support renaming a bank holiday "Margaret Thatcher Day" in honour of the late prime minister, a poll published today suggests.

The proposal was one of the most eye-catching ideas tabled by a group of Conservative backbenchers in their so-called "Alternative Queen's Speech".

Margaret Thatcher pictured outside the White House in February 1985. Credit: Arnie Sachs/DPA/Press Association Images

However, it also proved to be the least popular - just 13% of those questioned in the poll for Tory donor Lord Ashcroft backed the move.

Also failing to win public support were proposals to allow employees to opt out of the minimum wage (backed by 23%), privatise the BBC (28%) and scrap the office of the Deputy Prime Minister (29%).

Some 2,013 adults were interviewed online between June 28 and 30 for the poll.

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