UK

Newspaper review: Look ahead to Thatcher funeral

  • 14 April 2013
  • From the section UK
Sunday newspapers

Baroness Thatcher's life and legacy continue to be explored in the papers, with many looking ahead in great detail to her funeral on Wednesday.

The Sun, Mail on Sunday, Observer, Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times all reprint all or much of the order of service from the St Paul's Cathedral ceremony.

The Sun notes that the funeral will feature the music of nine of Britain's finest composers and readings from some of the country's greatest poets.

It says that the former prime minister laid out instructions for a "traditional and deeply religious send-off" eight years ago.

The Observer's Robert McCrum describes the order of service as a "nonconformist, profoundly English declaration of posthumous intent from a woman raised in the Methodist tradition".

But the paper also notes that there are also concerns about balancing the right to grieve at the funeral with the right to protest as the debate over Lady Thatcher's legacy becomes "increasingly rancorous".

'Most divisive'

Along with the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Express, the Observer features a special supplement on the former prime minister's political life.

Reporters for the Observer and the Sunday Times have both made journeys to take stock of "Thatcher's Britain" and the mood of its inhabitants.

For the Sunday Times, Tim Rayment found "visceral feelings... undimmed by time."

According to the Sunday Mirror, "she was responsible for ills which still afflict this country... In death, as in life, Margaret Thatcher remains the most divisive of prime ministers".

The demonstration against Lady Thatcher in Trafalgar Square also attracts coverage.

The Daily Star Sunday describes the protest as a "gory party".

But the Sunday People says it was one "that's been 20 years in the making".

The Sunday Express has a picture of a four year old boy celebrating Lady Thatcher's death.

Facing death

The Mail on Sunday carries an interview on its front page with the British grandmother facing death by firing squad in Bali for drug smuggling.

Lindsay Sandiford, 56, spoke to the newspaper from her prison cell after her appeal against her sentence was rejected last week.

She is quoted as saying: "I would rather have the death sentence than a life sentence. I don't want to get old and decrepit in here."

The Independent on Sunday's lead story is a report by Rupert Cornwall on the detainees remaining at the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

The paper says the site has been thrown back into the spotlight after the largest hunger strike by detainees in its history.

It says 50 detainees are the "forgotten prisoners of America's own Gulag" and in a legal non-man's-land, deemed too dangerous to release but against whom there is not enough evidence to prosecute.

Spectacular spring?

The main story in the Sun is concern that the marriage of the heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon may be failing.

The couple are reported to be living apart, the paper says.

The Sun hopes that the "rollercoaster ride" of their relationship still has a future.

The promise of warmer weather prompts the Sunday Mirror to carry a picture of daffodils and a Beatles song quote: "Here comes the sun."

When spring does come, says the Observer, it could be one of the most spectacular in decades with a sudden arrival of migrant birds, insects, blossom and flowers.

"And all of us," it suggests, "should start to feel better."

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