Carol Thatcher: Tough and tearful week for Iron Lady's daughter

Carol Thatcher: "This is going to be a tough and tearful week even for the daughter of the Iron Lady"

Carol Thatcher says she is expecting "a tough and tearful week, even for the daughter of the Iron Lady" as she prepares for her mother Baroness Thatcher's funeral on Wednesday.

Ms Thatcher said "magnificent tributes" had been paid by people including US President Barack Obama.

The former prime minister died aged 87 on Monday after suffering a stroke.

She will have a ceremonial funeral with military honours - one step below a state funeral - at St Paul's Cathedral.

Prime Minister David Cameron is to read a lesson and the Queen and Prince Philip are confirmed to be attending.

Lady Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and the first woman to hold the role. Her husband Sir Denis Thatcher died in 2003 aged 88.

'Landmark in life'

Speaking outside the family's home in Belgravia, central London, Ms Thatcher said she felt like anyone else who had just lost a second parent.

Margaret Thatcher with her daughter Carol at Wimbledon in 2006 Carol Thatcher said "magnificent tributes" had been paid to her mother

"It's a deeply sad and rather thought-provoking landmark in life," she said.

"My mother once said to me 'Carol, I think my place in history is assured'.

"The magnificent tributes this week, the wonderful words of President Obama, to others from colleagues who once worked alongside her, have proved her right.

"An enormous personal thank you to all the people who have sent me messages of sympathy and support.

"These have given me strength."

On Wednesday, Lady Thatcher's son Mark said his family have been "overwhelmed" by messages of condolence from the public after her death.

Funeral hymns

The BBC understands the hymns at Baroness Thatcher's funeral will include:

  • I Vow to Thee My Country
  • To be A Pilgrim
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

He said his mother would have been pleased that "they have come from people from all walks of life".

She would also have been "humbled" by the Queen's decision to attend her funeral, he said.

It will be the first funeral of a British politician the Queen has attended since the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

The guest list has been decided by Lady Thatcher's family and representatives, along with the government and the Conservative Party.

Ritz hotel

More than 2,000 invitations were dispatched on Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will attend the ceremony, and the cabinet and shadow cabinet will be invited.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and wife Cherie will be at the funeral and his successor, Gordon Brown, said he would be attending with wife Sarah. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond will also attend.

Baroness Thatcher in 2000 Lady Thatcher had been staying at the Ritz Hotel in London since Christmas

Those who have already confirmed they will not be attending include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan's widow Nancy.

Ten members of staff from the Ritz hotel, where Lady Thatcher died, have been invited. She had been staying at the five-star hotel in London since Christmas.

It was announced on Friday that MPs and peers would be able to visit the former prime minister's coffin in Parliament's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft on the eve of her funeral.

About 100 people will also be invited to a short service led by the Dean of Westminster welcoming Lady Thatcher's body.

Downing Street said Lady Thatcher had requested her body rest overnight in the chapel, and the Queen had given her consent.

The Notsensibles Notsensibles wrote I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher in 1980 as a "tongue-in-cheek" protest song

Meanwhile police attended a demonstration in central London where hundreds of opponents of the former prime minister turned out at Trafalgar Square.

Chants could be heard among the sizeable crowd, some bottles and cans were thrown although the protest has remained largely peaceful.

In a separate development, the BBC has defended its decision not to play in full a song at the centre of an anti-Lady Thatcher campaign on Radio 1's Official Chart Show.

A five second clip of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead will be played in a news item on Sunday's show.

Sales of the song, from the 1939 musical starring Judy Garland, have soared since Lady Thatcher's death.

But the corporation said that 1980 punk song I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher - the subject of a pro-Thatcher Facebook campaign - would be played in full on the Chart Show if it reached a high chart position.

The song, which featured in 2011 film The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, was recorded by Bury band Notsensibles.

"If this is a high entry in the Chart Show on Sunday, we would expect to play the song as there are no editorial reasons not to play it," the BBC said in a statement.

Notsensibles guitarist Steven Hartley told the BBC News website the song - which features the chorus line "I'm in love with Margaret Thatcher, I'm in love with Margaret Thatcher, I'm in love with Maggie T" - had been conceived as a satirical swipe at the former Conservative leader.

"We were of Thatcher's Britain - just a bunch of ordinary north-west lads from a north-western town," he said.

Hartley said it would nevertheless be "great" if the song charted.

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