Margaret Thatcher, a powerful force in British politics, died on Monday of a stroke, her family said. British authorities say that the grand lady, who along with Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev ushered in the end of the Cold War, will be buried with military honors. She died at age 87, with the distinction of being Britain’s first female prime minister, holding that position for 11 years. She had been in poor health for months.
Current Prime Minister David Cameron offered tributes and called her “a great leader, a great prime minister, a great Briton.” Mrs. Thatcher had asked not to be given a full state funeral and PM Cameron said that instead she would be given a ceremonial funeral with military honors with the service at St Paul’s Cathedral. Flags have been lowered to half mast at Downing Street.
Buckingham Palace released a statement saying that the Queen was “sad to hear the news” and that an expression of sympathy had been sent to Mrs. Thatcher’s family.
Speaking from Amsterdam, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “I believe that we have lost a major politician, I’m sorry about this and would like to offer condolences on behalf of the Russian leadership to the British government and people.”
Mrs. Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan played key roles in working with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union. She also transformed the UK’s economy during her tenure in office with lower taxes, smaller government and free trade policies.
While the head of government, Mrs. Thatcher was known as the “Iron Lady” for her strong will and personality. Some of her more famous quotes include “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman” and “I am not a consensus politician. I’m a conviction politician.“
May God grant her eternal memory.