Margaret Thatcher's St Paul's funeral passes peacefully

L-R: Carole Thatcher, Marco Grass, Sarah Thatcher, Mark Thatcher, Michael Thatcher and Amanda Thatcher. Credit: Empics

Video report by ITV News political editor Tom Bradby.

The Queen led mourners at the ceremonial funeral of Baroness Thatcher in St Paul's Cathedral today, as thousands lined the streets of London to pay their respects to the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Lady Thatcher, who died last week aged 87, was given full military honours, with the coffin bearing her body brought in procession to the cathedral on a gun carriage drawn by six black horses.

At St Paul's, a congregation of more than 2,300 included all of her successors as prime minister - Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron - as well as dignitaries from 170 countries around the globe.

They heard an address from Bishop of London Richard Chartres which, in keeping with the former PM's request for a religious funeral service rather than a memorial with eulogies, focused on her humanity rather than her political legacy.

Hailing Lady Thatcher's "perseverance and courage", the Bishop recalled the obstacles she had to overcome to enter Parliament as a woman in 1959 and rise to the leadership of the Conservative Party, and spoke of the "courtesy and personal kindness" she showed to those working for her.

Lady Thatcher's coffin, placed beneath the dome of St Paul's, was draped in a Union flag and topped by a floral tribute of white roses bearing the hand-written note "Beloved Mother - Always in our Hearts" from her children Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher.

The coffin and floral tribute during the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral. Credit: PA

Walking ahead of the coffin as it entered the cathedral were Lady Thatcher's grandchildren Michael and Amanda, carrying cushions bearing her insignia of the Order of the Garter and Order of Merit. Along with Mr Cameron, Amanda gave a reading from the King James Bible.

Although the event was not the state funeral received by Sir Winston Churchill, it was conducted with more pomp and ceremony than any seen in London since the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.

Mr Cameron insisted the honour was a "fitting tribute" to a major national figure who was the longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century.

manda Thatcher, granddaughter of Baroness Thatcher, gives a reading during the funeral service. Credit: PA

While accepting that opinions remain divided over Lady Thatcher's legacy, the PM said that she had created a new consensus during her time in power, saying: "In a way, we are all Thatcherites now.

"She was the first woman prime minister, she served for longer in the job than anyone for 150 years, she achieved some extraordinary things in her life. I think what is happening today is absolutely fitting and right."

More than 4,000 police officers were on duty to ensure security amid heightened fears of a terror attack sparked by the bombing of the Boston Marathon in the US.

But fears that the ceremony would be disrupted by demonstrations did not materialise, despite some booing and anti-Thatcher banners along the route, and there were no arrests during the event.

ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar spoke to the people who lined the route of Margaret Thatcher's final journey:

Some protesters turned their backs as the coffin passed, including 58-year-old Charmain Kenner, who said: "She ruined this country and, to add insult to injury, we're expected to pay for her funeral."

But the procession was greeted for the most part with warm applause, and there were three loud cheers outside St Paul's as military pall-bearers brought her coffin out at the end of the service.

In contrast to the people paying their respects in London, there were celebrations in the pit village of Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire.

ITV News special correspondent Geraint Vincent was with former miners and their supporters who were heralding the end of an era:

The 55-minute service at St Paul's concluded with a blessing by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Then the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh joined Lady Thatcher's family on the steps to watch a hearse take the former premier's body away from the grandeur and solemnity of the official funeral to a private cremation at Mortlake in south-west London.