Baroness Thatcher funeral as it happened

Key Points

  • The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, has taken place at St Paul's Cathedral in central London
  • Lady Thatcher died on Monday, 8 April, at the age of 87, after suffering a stroke
  • Her coffin was taken by gun carriage to the cathedral, accompanied by members of the armed forces, who also lined the route
  • Some 2,300 people attended the funeral, including the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prime Minister David Cameron
  • A protest was staged along the route of the funeral procession, although the crowds included many thousands of well-wishers
  • Former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair also attended, as well as celebrities including Dame Shirley Bassey and Jeremy Clarkson

    Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the funeral of Baroness Thatcher. We will be bringing you minute-by-minute updates.


    Lady Thatcher's coffin will travel from Westminster and be taken in procession through central London for the funeral at St Paul's Cathedral at 11:00 BST. Some 2,300 people, representing 170 countries, are expected to attend. The Queen will be among them.


    For our full, interactive, guide to the funeral - with a clickable map and videos - have a look here.


    Lady Thatcher has been accorded a ceremonial funeral with military honours, one step down from a state funeral.


    Her coffin will leave Parliament for the last time at 10.00 BST (09:00 GMT), dressed with the union jack after spending the night resting in the crypt chapel of St Mary Undercroft. Around 150 guests, including Lady Thatcher's children Sir Mark and Carol took part in a private service at the chapel on Tuesday night.


    The coffin will initially travel by hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes - the Central Church of the RAF - on the Strand, where it will be transferred to a gun carriage to be drawn by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who will lead it in procession to St Paul's, where the service is due to start at 11.00 BST.


    The Dean of St Paul's, the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, said Lady Thatcher had played a large part in planning the funeral over the past six years and it would be "relatively humble" in line with her wishes.


    Mr Ison said the "simple" service would be in contrast to the "pomp and ceremony" surrounding the transit of the coffin. "Mrs Thatcher wanted something that was very simple and it is not at all triumphalist," he said.


    In terms of guests, as well as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, all 32 members of the current cabinet will attend the service, along with more than 30 members of Lady Thatcher's cabinets from her time as prime minister.

    Pallbearers carry the coffin

    Pallbearers carried the coffin into the Palace of Westminster's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft overnight on Tuesday. The House of Commons speaker's chaplain kept vigil in the chapel through the night.


    Crowds have already begun to gather around St Paul's Cathedral - with an estimated 300 people already in place at 07.00 BST - some with folding chairs and sleeping bags. As well as a number of union jacks there are flags of the US, Canada, Scotland, Poland and the Falkland Islands on display.


    The Metropolitan Police said it had been contacted by a small number of protesters to say they were planning action on the funeral route in protest at the impact of some of Lady Thatcher's policies while she was in power. Other protests are expected elsewhere.


    BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said although Monday's bomb attack at the Boston Marathon was not believed to have led to any significant changes in security for the funeral, it was expected that the police and public would be more vigilant.


    Our correspondent said arguably the biggest headache for police was how to respond to any spontaneous protests along the funeral route or close to mourners. Senior officers acknowledged they had a "difficult" balance to strike between allowing people to express their opinions and maintaining order.

    Kane Reiken

    tweets: Never seen so many cops before around Parliament Square.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    Police have powers to arrest those who use "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour", but Scotland Yard said it was not for the police to "uphold respect". For an explanation of what the police can do, have a look at my feature here.

    Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News
    Flowers at College Green, Westminster

    Flowers for Lady Thatcher outside Parliament.


    Here is our main story on the day's events - it includes how you can follow our coverage of Lady Thatcher's funeral across the BBC on radio, TV and online.


    Coverage starts on BBC One at 09:15 BST with David Dimbleby, while on the BBC News Channel, Simon McCoy and Jane Hill host live coverage from Westminster and St Paul's from 08:00 BST.

    Crowds at St Paul's

    Crowds are gathering around St Paul's - and some people slept overnight to secure their places.

    Rosie Barrow

    tweets: There are police everywhere and one old man sitting on a picnic chair.

    0736: Gerry Holt BBC News

    Police in high-visibility jackets are dotted along the route but the atmosphere is pleasant and there is little sign of any protesters so far. Many people have fold-up chairs, raincoats and sandwiches and have been here since the early hours - and some since Tuesday.

    Christina and John Carr

    Christina Carr, 62, and her husband John, 76, who were eating a spot of breakfast behind a string of union jacks, arrived at 05:00 BST. Mrs Carr says: "There's not many people I would come out for - certainly among politicians today - but I always said I would come out for her. She was the only one worth having." Mr Carr adds: "When she took the government back from the unions she solved a lot of this country's problems."


    Road closures have been put in place in central London on the route of the procession - from Whitehall to St Paul's. Many bus routes are affected. Have a look at Transport for London's guide if you are planning to travel to the area.


    The guest list has been decided by Lady Thatcher's family and representatives, along with the government and the Conservative Party. St Paul's has a capacity of 2,300 and is expected to be full on the day. Here is our full guide on who will be attending.

    Andy Tyler

    tweets: A city worker goes about his daily commute, unbothered by the hubbub surrounding the Thatcher funeral at St Paul's.

    0748: Gerry Holt BBC News

    The crowds are really beginning to build now, even as rain begins to fall from the pale white skies above St Paul's.

    Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Dean of St Paul's David Ison tells @BBCr4today I don't think that this is a political funeral

    Police officers walk along the Strand

    Some of the 4,000 police officers who are on duty today make their way along The Strand.

    0753: Callum May BBC News

    Coaches have been unloading police officers on Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill. They are beginning to take up positions every 20 metres or so on either side of the route. Officers from the Met and City of London forces are wearing dress uniforms and, in many cases, white cotton gloves.

    Spectators near St Paul's

    Spectators are already lining the route and some have come with placards to express their views.


    Flags are being lowered to half mast at the Houses of Parliament and across UK government buildings. They will remain in that position until 20:00 BST.

    J Matthews, in South Wales

    texts: Altho I am a S. Wales miner's dghtr + alwys hd V. strong feelngs abt Maggie Thatcher + her politics it's V. hard nt 2 B mvd on the day of her funeral.


    The funeral order of service opens with a Little Gidding extract from Four Quartets by TS Eliot. Her biographer John Campbell says the choice of readings and hymns Lady Thatcher requested for her own funeral service are so appropriate they amount almost to self-parody. Read his commentary on the choices here..


    Wednesday's House of Commons sitting has been delayed until 14:30 BST, meaning the cancellation of Prime Minister's Questions, in order to allow MPs to attend - a move approved in a Commons vote on Tuesday.


    texts: Do the media not care how offensive and insulting this ceremonial funeral is to the millions of Britons who had their lives ruined and communities destroyed. Why should we be footing the bill. Not democratic at all.

    Spectators line the route

    The red, white and blue of the union jack is likely to be a common sight today.

    Gerry Holt BBC News
    Margaret Kittle from Winona, Canada

    Some have travelled many more miles to be here.

    Margaret Kittle, 79, who travelled to London from Winona, Canada, for the funeral, says she has been in position since Tuesday morning.

    As camping is not allowed in the City since the Occupy protests she has made do with a fold-up chair and warm clothes.

    "I'm a great admirer of Mrs Thatcher. I was here each time she won [general] elections," she says, standing behind the flag of her country.

    "She took on Gorbachev and Reagan and liberated people from the iron curtain, she kept the Falklands in British control and took on the unions. She was a strong woman. She made Britain great again."

    She says her family were at Churchill's funeral and says of Thatcher's: "It will be sad - it's the end of an era in politics."


    BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting the funeral from 10:00 BST, led by Sian Williams and James Naughtie. BBC Radio 5 live's coverage starts at 09:30 BST, while World Service English and some language services will cover the funeral service live.


    Prime Minister David Cameron is speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme about Lady Thatcher's funeral, and her legacy.


    The prime minister is asked if the Conservative Party is still in Margaret Thatcher's shadow. "We should embrace that fact," says Mr Cameron.

    Sangita Myska BBC News
    Protestor at St Paul's

    First protestor to make themselves visible concerned about estimated cost of funeral.

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "We are all Thatcherites now" says PM @BBCr4today "the big arguments she had everyone now accepts" #Thatcher

    0821: Gerry Holt BBC News

    The City of London Police have now closed the roads around St Paul's to traffic and have asked everyone - including journalists - to stay behind the barriers. The growing crowds are jostling for position and it is proving harder to move around.

    Peter Barron Editor, the Northern Echo

    tweets: Important news day with Margaret Thatcher's funeral. Glad the Durham miners have said there will be no celebration 'party'. Right decision.


    Mr Cameron adds: "What's happening today is absolutely fitting and right". Foreigners would think it "extraordinary" if we didn't commemorate this.


    At 46, Prime Minister David Cameron admits to the Today programme that he "doesn't remember" much of the 1979 election which brought Thatcher to power.

    But his earliest memories of her were defending the Falkland Islands - a "brave and resolute thing".

    He says she was on the right side of the big arguments, a great moderniser and an extraordinary leader.

    BBC News website reader

    texts: To those seeking to demonstrate or cause trouble today... Please consider whether your actions tell us more about your character than anything else and let's show the world that we are a people of dignity and able to show self control on a day like this despite any personal views. Thank you.

    Ken, Sheffield

    texts: Mrs Thatcher divided this nation and her shadow still haunts it. She divided my family to a depth which she would not have accepted for her own. She united all opposition to trade unionism to a position where the poor have no voice whatsoever and have to endure 19th century conditions as far as community is concerned which she has completely destroyed.

    0830: Gerry Holt BBC News
    Sue Bloxham

    One lady who has a fascinating story to tell is Sue Bloxham, 70, from Norfolk.

    She was a 20-year-old City of London policewoman during Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965.

    "I was standing just a few yards away from this point," she says, pointing from her spot in front of two red phone boxes directly opposite St Paul's.

    "It feels strange, I feel almost wobbly," she says.

    "There's not the same patriotism that there was for him. We were there united in supporting him. There's one or two people round here today who are not being very respectful."


    Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking on Radio 4's Today programme called on people to show respect at the funeral.

    "Of course people have the right to disagree and take a different view but when you're mourning the passing of an 87-year-old woman who was the first woman prime minister, who served for longer in the job than anyone for 150 years, I think it's appropriate to show respect."

    "I think other countries in the world would think Britain had got it completely wrong if we didn't mark this in a proper way," he said.

    David, Croydon

    texts: if U can't say something nice, don't say anything! Any death is a tragedy for someone!


    Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who was involved in the organisation of the funeral, says he hopes her opponents will respect the occasion. "This is a free country, people can express themselves. I would simply hope that they respect the fact that this is a funeral, this is the last ceremony, the last appearance if you like, of a human being, someone who was a wife and a mother. Her family are here at a hugely difficult time for them, and I hope that people will just behave with respect and in a decent, civilised way."


    Former Chancellor Lord Lawson tells BBC Radio 4 during the funeral he will be thinking of what a "remarkable person" and leader Lady Thatcher was and how she "saved the nation".


    Earlier, the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral said he hoped it will be a "healing service". The Very Rev Dr David Ison said: "I can understand that for some people that's difficult because it's hard not to personalise things when you've seen your livelihood destroyed or you can't get a job." He added: "Even if I may find her hard to like nonetheless I have to accept that she's one of us. She's a human person."


    Former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, who advised Baroness Thatcher during the Falklands War, says the starkness of the situation was very clear to her. "She was like most democratic politicians - they had no experience of war. The great thing was when the crisis occurred she took our advice and took leadership. I know she worried, because the Commander in Chief was very clear with her about what the risks were at every stage."


    Joe Walker, 32, a Big Issue-seller from Canada, says he has moved from his usual Regent Street patch to the Strand to take advantage of the increased footfall. "It seems like people love her and hate her here, and I can see why," he says. "It's amazing that people can buy their own council houses in England, it's my dream to own my own house. But then I know some people who take advantage of it and sell them on for much higher prices, so no-one can get a home."

    BBC News website reader

    texts: Please give a mention to the voluntary services involved - my daughter is with St John Ambulance stationed near St Paul's and was up at dawn with her many colleagues, all giving their time freely. Mrs T would have been proud of them.

    Sniffer dogs

    Security is tight in central London ahead of the funeral. In the last 24 hours, hundreds of police officers have patrolled the streets with sniffer dogs trained to detect explosives.


    Lord Lawson says that today's ceremony is about looking to Baroness Thatcher's legacy: "What she achieved - in the teeth of Labour opposition - was enormous."

    He said that Margaret Thatcher and he "invented privatisation", which was then rolled out across the rest of the world.

    Usaama Kaweesa, south London

    emails: I'm not old enough to remember Margaret Thatcher as I was born the year she stepped down, but I'm going to pay my respects for all she has done for this country. I'm setting off now so that I can hopefully get a good position near St Paul's.


    Baroness Thatcher's ministerial car driver Denis Oliver, who had just started as her driver when the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984, says the former prime minister was always a "very caring" lady. When his wife was diagnosed with cancer Lady Thatcher sent flowers and chocolates, he says, adding that the couple are pleased to be able to pay their respects today.

    Tony Smith BBC News
    Ludgate Circus

    tweets: The scene at Ludgate Circus where protestors say they'll turn their backs in dignified silence as the cortège passes


    Prime Minister David Cameron has been discussing today's funeral, Lady Thatcher's legacy and her life on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. You can hear the whole interview here.

    Lucy Manning, ITV News

    tweets: Westminster streets very quiet at the moment. Lots of police. Not many Thatcher supporters/protesters.

    0900: Gerry Holt BBC News
    Chelsea pensioners

    There is a loud cheer as pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea arrive by bus. They will later form a Guard of Honour on the steps of St Paul's when Baroness Thatcher's coffin arrives. The group of 16 brighten up an otherwise rather damp and overcast day.


    Retired teacher Henry Page was at St Paul's with a protest banner. The 61-year-old said: "The reason I have come today is because £10m in the current economic climate is inappropriate when people can't afford to pay their bills."


    Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has defended the spending on Baroness Thatcher's funeral, saying it will cost "much, much less" than a reported £10m. Mr Maude, who has been overseeing the funeral arrangements, told ITV's Daybreak the state would always pay the costs of the funeral and memorial service of a former prime minister.

    BBC World at One presenter Martha Kearney
    Falklands veterans at Ludgate Circus

    tweets: Falklands veterans at Ludgate Circus waiting for funeral procession.


    Outside St Paul's Cathedral, the BBC's Angus Crawford says a clear minority have come to stage a "respectful protest" at the taxpayer-funded funeral - and will turn their backs when the funeral cortege passes.

    "I have come here to show the world that we are not united in grief" says one.

    But the woman next to her disagrees: "I've come here to pay my respects because I remember life in this country before Margaret Thatcher."

    0909: Gerry Holt BBC News

    Brollies go up as the rain really starts to fall and the temperature dips. Many people are shivering now but show no sign of giving up and heading home. If anything, the atmosphere has become even more jovial, the Brits showing the tourists in the crowd what the Dunkirk spirit is all about.

    Police motorbikes

    More than 4,000 police officers are on duty - here police motorbikes ride up Whitehall ahead of the procession.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: I'm at what looks like its going to be "protest corner" on the north side of Ludgate Circus. Maybe 40 - 50 here.


    Jane and her friend Maria, both from Fulham, south-west London, secured their spot on the funeral route early this morning in order to pay their respects to a "great lady". Jane says: "It's very important to pay my respects to a wonderful lady. She was a lady with high principles that we don't see very often... it is a sad day."


    BBC Radio 5 live's Peter Allen recalls being a young reporter who braved the then-PM's "gimlet eye" to ask her why she was fighting for the Falkland Islands, "when you know perfectly well you'll have to give them back in the end?"

    He was met with a stony silence. And her answer - "I beg your pardon?"

    Martin Brunt Sky News crime correspondent

    tweets: Three men arrested in City ahead of funeral on susp of anti-thatcher graffiti and carrying articles for criminal damage.


    One BBC reporter says officials estimate 3 to 4,000 people are lining the route near St Paul's.

    Judi, Hants

    texts: Can u please not focus on the few negative protesters at the funeral. Let her have a dignified burial. It is so depressing to always focus on the negative.

    0923: Gerry Holt BBC News
    Protester Henry Page

    Henry Page, 61, from Brighton, is mounting a lone protest.

    He holds a sign saying: "Over £10m of our money for a Tory funeral."

    He hasn't seen anyone else protesting yet today, neither has he experienced any ill-will towards him.

    "People might say my protest is inappropriate, undignified or vulgar but how undignified is it for David Cameron and Boris Johnson to be falling over themselves to make Margaret Thatcher's funeral more pompous?" he says.

    He says the cost - which hasn't yet been made public - is "excessive and inappropriate when people can't to pay their heating bills or selling their houses to pay for care".


    At Downing Street are Trevor Fearon, 83, and his wife Doreen, 85, who have travelled from West Kensington in west London to see the procession. "Mrs Thatcher was a gutsy woman, especially over the Falklands," said Mr Fearon. Mrs Fearon said: "She was a good prime minister. At the end she didn't have the backing of her ministers. I hope they feel badly about that now but I doubt it."


    At the Facebook-organised protest at Ludgate Circus, Dave Winslow, 22, an anthropology student from Durham, says up to 200 demonstrators are expected. "We plan to turn our backs," he says. "We want to maintain a dignified protest, it's counter-productive to cat-call and sing Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead."

    St Paul's

    Guests have started to take up their seats at St Paul's Cathedral.

    Andrew Sharratt, Woolwich, London

    tweets: Even the flag on my @thamesclippers is lowered to half mast or #thatcher funeral as we enter central #London


    The first funeral guests appeared outside St Paul's shortly before 08:30 BST. Falklands veteran Lt Col Peter Cameron, of the Royal Marines, recalled an encounter with Lady Thatcher 25 years after the conflict. "I had a lovely moment with her at RAF Waddington when she was quite frail and we were watching a display," he said. "She was on my arm for 10 minutes and afterwards she said 'That was fun'. And I said 'It was fun, Lady Thatcher, but when it's for real, it's slightly different."


    Scotland Yard say three men were arrested on Tuesday night on suspicion of criminal damage in the City of London. The trio, aged 55, 48 and 26, were held around 21:20 BST in Threadneedle Street after police spotted fresh graffiti on a wall. They searched a car nearby and found articles that could be used for alleged criminal damage. The men remain in custody.

    Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: A lone protester outside St Paul's shouted, " Pinochet. Shame on You" and then fell silent. #Thatcher


    Sir Terry Wogan says he represents the "hobbledehoy element" of Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

    "I can't claim that I knew her intimately, but I did interview her on a long-lost programme called Wogan," he says. After the interview she headed to the hospitality suite to join her husband Denis who was helping himself to drinks, Sir Terry recalled. "She said: Denis that's two you've had, we must be off."

    Sir Terry says he will never forget her as she attended Children in Need. "She was the only prime minister to do so," he says.

    0940: Gerry Holt BBC News

    There is now a sandy-yellow tinge to the main roads surrounding St Paul's. A police officer says they have been gritted to help the horses drawing the gun carriage that will carry Lady Thatcher's coffin avoid slipping on the wet streets.

    Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News
    Coffee stand

    tweets: Lady Thatcher would be proud. Temporary coffee stand near St Clement Danes


    Royal historian Kate Williams tells BBC Radio 5 live that Mrs Thatcher felt the Queen, who will be at St Paul's later, was a little too far to the left - "the kind of woman who would vote SDP".

    But both women shared a love of people being punctual.

    Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

    Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is one of the guests who has arrived for the ceremony.

    0946: Gerry Holt BBC News

    A large convoy of 4x4s, minibuses and coaches draws up to the front of the cathedral, carrying some of the 2,300 guests. They have been asked to be in place by 10:00 BST, ahead of the VIP arrivals.


    Falklands veteran Simon Weston is one of the guests who has arrived at St Paul's. Earlier this week he said he hoped "beyond all hope" that the funeral would remain a dignified day, despite strong feelings on both sides. The former Welsh Guard is one of the best-known veterans of the Falklands conflict after suffering horrific burns when he was on board RFA Sir Galahad as it was bombed by Argentine jets in June 1982.

    Ben Geoghegan, BBC News
    Thatcher supporters

    Lady Thatcher supporters at St Clement Danes


    Baroness Shirley Williams, former Labour cabinet minister and co-founder of the SDP, says that Baroness Thatcher's domestic life was "very precious to her", revealing that the former prime minister was particularly keen on ironing.

    Lady Williams says the former prime minister saw her domestic life with her husband Denis as very separate to her political life. The latter she considered extremely serious, not the subject of jokes.

    "Unlike many male politicians who played games, she never played games," she says.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    There are up to 50 anti-Thatcher protesters gathered on the north side of Ludgate Circus who say they will turn their backs on the funeral cortege. Rebecca Lush Blum is one of the organisers and has been negotiating all week with the Metropolitan Police. She says she wants the protest to be a dignified and symbolic act of resistance against all that Thatcherism stood for. She also jokes that she'd rather not be arrested because it would cause her childcare problems later.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    Some other protesters want to make a more robust statement, however. Andrew Holder has travelled from Wiltshire and is wearing a T-shirt depicting a gravestone with Baroness Thatcher's name on it. When I suggested to him mourners would find that disrespectful and distressing, he said: "I want them to be distressed because I'm angry at the huge public cost of the funeral."

    Cabinet arriving

    Members of the current cabinet have arrived at St Paul's.


    The historian and writer Lord Peter Hennessy says where ever you stand on Margaret Thatcher and her policies you have to recognise the "extraordinary force-field" she had around her.

    "She was a primary colours politician who disturbed all the atoms in politics," he says. "There were no pastel shades."


    Lady Thatcher's coffin is being carried from the Palace of Westminster into the hearse, where it will be taken to the Church of St Clement Danes and transferred to a gun carriage before processing to St Paul's Cathedral.


    The BBC's Peter Hunt spots people who opposed Baroness Thatcher in political life now entering St Paul's Cathedral - Labour former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and current Labour leader Ed Miliband.

    1004: Gerry Holt BBC News

    People are standing on nearby pillars and scaffolding to gain a better vantage point of St Paul's. One man has even brought his own ladder. The more fortunate can be seen peering from the windows of the many offices that line the route.


    There's just under an hour to go now until the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, who died last week aged 87, begins at St Paul's Cathedral. Dignitaries are arriving ahead of the service and the coffin is now travelling by hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes - the Central Church of the Royal Air Force - on the Strand.


    The hearse passes the gates of Downing Street - Lady Thatcher's home for 11 years from 1979 - when she arrived as prime minister quoting St Francis of Assisi's "Where there is despair let us bring hope" - until her tearful departure after being ejected by her own party in 1990.


    Supporters and protesters are many and varied on the streets of London today, and BBC Radio 5 live's Phil Mackie has captured on video this one's rather unique approach, expressed in dance.


    Mayor of London Boris Johnson told Sky News outside St Paul's: "Even for her fans and supporters like me, I don't think we expected to see quite so many people turn up to show their affection and their respect for Margaret Thatcher. It is a quite astonishing crowd."


    The coffin has arrived at the Church of St Clement Danes where it will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.


    The BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent Dominic Casciani says he has just heard the day's first protest at Ludgate Circus.

    "As a military band marched up Fleet Street in all its pomp, one side of the crowd clapped them enthusiastically - but the other side booed loudly.

    "Protesters chanted 'waste of money' as the band marched past."


    At St Clement Danes, the BBC's Lesley Ashmall is watching the coffin being taken from the hearse.

    "The crowd is really silent now, with very few dissenting voices, I've seen two placards.

    "The bells of St Clement Danes are tolling as the body of the former prime minister is taken into the chapel."

    The coffin will re-emerge to be carried on a gun carriage to St Pauls in about 10-15 minutes time.

    Coffin at St Clement Danes

    Prayers are being said by St Clement Danes resident chaplain the Reverend David Osborn as the coffin, draped in a union jack, is transferred to a gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery for the military procession to St Paul's Cathedral.


    The gun carriage will be drawn by six black horses - led by Mister Twister ridden by Captain John Cockburn - down The Strand, Temple Bar, Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill to St Paul's. The wheels of the 1.5-ton carriage have been changed from steel to rubber so it runs more quietly on the road.


    The gun carriage is set to leave at 10:30 BST. The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth will lead the procession, playing funeral marches by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin and striking eight bass drum beats to set the pace of precisely 70 steps a minute.


    The route is lined by members of all three services in full ceremonial day dress, officers wearing black armbands, with colours draped and rifle muzzles pointed downwards towards the ground as a mark of respect.

    1018: Gerry Holt BBC News

    There is applause for the pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea as they line the steps of the cathedral. One stands a little too far forward and is shuffled back by his commanding officer. No detail is being overlooked here.


    State channels in Iran and China seen by BBC Monitoring are both carrying live pictures from Baroness Thatcher's funeral. The English-language international news channel of China Central Television in a split screen shows a continuous stream of footage of the coffin, while Iran's English-language Press TV showed a brief segment of the procession in its news programme.


    Prime Minister David Cameron says that we are marking Margaret Thatcher's passing in the right way. "I think it's very fitting," he says. Mr Cameron says he had dinner with foreign leaders last night, who would think it "odd" if we did not honour her in this manner.

    The prime minister says that the funeral plans have been in place for some time. He adds: "I was told about them in 2005".

    Norman Smith, BBC News Channel chief political correspondent

    tweets: David Cameron says #thatcher funeral arrangements begun under Labour -"It was planned over many years before I became Prime Minister"


    Before heading into St Paul's to take his seat, and read a lesson during the service, Prime Minister David Cameron says he "learned a huge amount from watching" Baroness Thatcher at work.

    He says he saw first hand "the kindness she showed to people" when he began work for the Conservative Party as a junior researcher in 1998.

    Today, he feels "a great pride in all that she achieved, tinged with sadness".

    Peter Hunt Royal correspondent

    tweets: Maurice Saatchi, creator of Labour Isn't Working 1979 poster, entering St.Paul's. #Thatcher

    1024: Gerry Holt BBC News
    Stuart MacKenzie

    Stuart MacKenzie, 52, from London, was a corporal in the Parachute Regiment during the Falklands conflict. He describes the late former PM as a "great war-time leader" who "had more balls than half of the people in her cabinet".

    "I wanted to nod my head and show respect, he says.

    "There's about 100 other paratroopers here and we will meet up afterwards and raise a glass to Maggie."

    PM and Samantha

    Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, arrive at St Paul's.

    Phil Williams

    Ahead of the funeral procession to St Paul's Cathedral, one protester reminds us that not all wish her well on her final journey. Phil Williams, a former union member from Shotton in north Wales, holds up a large banner that reads: "Rest in shame".


    Soldiers from the Welsh Guards, which suffered heavy losses during the Falklands War, are among the small group carrying the coffin from St Clement Danes chapel, says the BBC's Peter Hunt.

    Robin Brant, BBC News

    tweets: Thatcher funeral - crowd at parliament disperses quickly, thousands walk back to offices.


    The WWI gun carriage which will carry the coffin to St Paul's has never been used in a funeral procession before, and will be named after Baroness Thatcher after today.

    Pall bearers

    Pall bearers from all three services carry the coffin to the gun carriage.

    1032: Linda Serck BBC News, Oxford

    Margaret Thatcher's former Oxford University college is screening her funeral in front of students, academics and alumni. It's not term time so is quiet, I am watching screening with eight people in the hall.


    "A warm round of applause from the hundreds and hundreds of people here," says the BBC's Lesley Ashmall, at St Clement Danes chapel, as the gun carriage leaves.

    Gun carriage.

    The coffin aboard the gun carriage.

    Kat Lay, Times reporter

    tweets: Hush over crowd on Ludgate Hill after band go past broken by policeman asking everyone to check that any bags near them are theirs.


    Lady Thatcher's son Mark, daughter Carol, their partners and her grandchildren, arrive at St Pauls's to take their seats, as the gun carriage bearing the coffin is carried along Fleet Street.

    The procession passes the High Court

    The procession passes the High Court.

    Mark and Carol Thatcher

    Baroness Thatcher's children, Mark and Carol, arrive at St Paul's.


    Crowds line the route.

    Geoff, Moscow, Russia

    emails: Watching live in Moscow with my colleagues, a great woman who put the word 'Great' in Great Britain


    The national anthem plays outside St Paul's as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive.

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: Ludgate Circus now packed. Half demonstrators, half onlookers. A few mourners in black suits etc.


    Outside St Paul's, the BBC's Gerry Holt says: "Office workers are now craning their necks from every open window in the area. The interest is certainly building as Lady Thatcher's funeral cortege makes it's way along the processional route."


    A gun is firing every minute from the Tower of London during the procession.

    The Queen

    The Queen is welcomed by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's.


    The BBC's Jane Peel at Ludgate Circus says: "It is absolutely packed here, not just with protesters, but with many hundreds of supporters, trying to drown out the sound of protests with clapping."

    "There is clearly some dissent here, but this was meant to be the place where some protest was allowed to take place."

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets: Back turners turn their backs. Very difficult to see them, the crowd is so thick.


    Flowers are being strewn on the road as the procession approaches St Paul's.


    The carriage arrives at St Paul's Cathedral in central London to the sound of a tolling bell.

    St Paul's

    The carriage arrives at St Paul's.


    The Chelsea Pensioners line the steps of St Paul's as the coffin is carried in.

    The BBC's Peter Hunt says Denis Thatcher attended church at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where he "enjoyed the short sermons" and where his ashes are interred.

    St Paul's

    Outside St Paul's Cathedral there is a Guard of Honour made up of members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the Welsh Guards Band. Eighteen more service personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, the Blues and Royals, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and Royal Air Force line the steps along with pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.


    The funeral service at St Paul's Cathedral begins with Baroness Thatcher's coffin being borne through the vast structure by eight military personnel.


    Walking in front of the coffin are Baroness Thatcher's grandchildren, Michael and Amanda Thatcher.

    They are carrying the insignia of the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit, awarded to their grandmother.


    The Dean of St Paul's, the Very Reverend David Ison, welcomes mourners.


    Mr Ison leads the congregation in the Lord's Prayer.


    The first hymn is John Bunyan's To be a Pilgrim. You can follow the order of service here with notes from Lady Thatcher's biographer John Campbell.


    In his welcoming remarks, Dean of St Paul's David Ison paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher's life and work,

    He said: "We recall with great gratitude her leadership of this nation, her courage, her steadfastness, and her resolve to accomplish what she believed to be right for the common good."


    The coffin is carried into St Paul's.


    Baroness Thatcher's granddaughter, Amanda, gives the first reading from Ephesians 6. 10-18, saying: "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

    Amanda Thatcher

    Amanda Thatcher gives the first reading.

    Richard Lister, BBC News

    tweets: Applause as the gun carriage which carried Lady #Thatcher's coffin moves along Fleet Street on its way back from St Paul's.


    Prime Minister David Cameron, who paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher today as a "brave woman doing a difficult job", is reading from the Gospel of John.


    David Cameron's reading from John 14, 1-6, is: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

    St Paul's

    The scene inside St Paul's Cathedral, where a congregation of more than 2,000 people has gathered for Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

    David Cameron

    David Cameron reading from John's Gospel. Lady Thatcher had requested that the serving prime minister gave a reading, regardless of their party.


    The Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, is giving the address. Baroness Thatcher, who planned much of her service, requested there be no eulogy, so this is moment in the funeral for reflecting on her life.


    Delivering his sermon, Bishop Chartres, says: "After the storm of a life lived in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm".


    Bishop Chartres reminds the congregation that Lady Thatcher had the common destiny of all human beings. "Lying here, she is one of us". The bishop says today is "neither the time nor the place" to debate her legacy.

    Bishop Chartres

    The Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, delivers his address.


    Bishop Chartres notes Lady Thatcher's Methodist upbringing "to which this country owes a huge debt". She once described her religious upbringing in a lecture saying: "We were taught always to make up our own minds and never take the easy way of following the crowd". The Bishop says that in the past it was so often the Methodists who took the lead.


    The bishop's accounts of Baroness Thatcher's ability to reach out to people, whether members of the public, or himself, draw a laugh from the congregation.

    Bishop Chartres says she once warned him at a serious City function: "Don't touch the duck pate Bishop, it's very fattening."

    Thatcher family

    Bishop Chartres says it must be difficult for members of her family and close associates to recognise the wife, mother and grandmother in the "mythological figure" of Lady Thatcher.


    Bishop Chartres includes the fact Baroness Thatcher was part of the team that invented the Mr Whippy ice cream as one of her pre-political achievements.


    Baroness Thatcher's remark while in office that there is "no such thing as society" has been misunderstood, says the bishop. He says: "It refers to some impersonal entity to which we are tempted to surrender our independence."

    The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen

    Earlier this week, Sir Mark Thatcher said his mother would have been "humbled" to know the Queen would be at her funeral.


    In her later life the loss of Denis, her husband, was a grievous blow indeed, says the bishop. "And then there was a struggle with increasing debility from which she has now been liberated," he adds, referring to her failing health in old age.


    The BBC's Nick Sutton ‏tweets: Slightly surprised there are no speakers outside St Paul's which means the crowd can't hear Lady #Thatcher's service.


    The dominant note of a Christian funeral service, says Bishop Chartres, is that after the sorrow and the memories comes hope. Margaret Thatcher "had a sense of this", he says.


    Quoting the poet T S Eliot, the bishop concludes: "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

    He ends his sermon with: "Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon her."


    The congregation join together for Charles Wesley's Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, reflecting Baroness Thatcher's Methodist upbringing.

    1140: Gerry Holt BBC News

    Sharon Bierer, from London, describes the procession as "extraordinary". "It was beautiful and very suitable for a prime minister of her stature," she adds. She says she expected the crowds to be respectful, and they were. On Lady Thatcher, she says: "She was our first female prime minister and was an inspiration to me as a young a woman to believe that women could be successful in politics."

    Cathedral choir

    The choir of St Paul's Cathedral.


    The prayers are led by the Reverend Sarah Eynstone, Minor Canon and Chaplain.

    1144: Gerry Holt BBC News

    As the service continues inside St Paul's, outside people pay their respects. David Lydiat, 25, a Conservative town councillor in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, dressed in a black suit and tie and carrying a bunch of pink and white flowers, says: "I wanted to take the last opportunity to pay my respects to Margaret Thatcher and say thank you.

    "She was a woman who showed tremendous courage in the face of so much opposition - (for example) over the militant unions who had a strangle-hold on this country in the 70's. Margaret Thatcher liberated our country from them and liberated the economy.

    "She was the first woman to become prime minister in a government dominated by men and that was a remarkable thing."

    He adds: "I would say she was the greatest Briton and prime minister since Winston Churchill."


    Inside the cathedral, the prayers are an ecumenical affair, with the intercessions coming from the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist and American churches.


    The Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool, the Reverend William Hall from the US and the Reverend Ruth Gee, President Designate of the Methodist Conference led the congregation in prayer, before the anthem is sung by the cathedral choir.


    The choir sings music from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem: "May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.

    "May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest."

    George Osborne and David Cameron

    There were laughter and tears in the congregation as the Bishop of London recounted an anecdote about a letter Lady Thatcher received from a young boy.

    Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: George Osborne wiped a tear from his cheek during the Bishop of London's sermon


    The Bishop of London said: "Nine-year-old David wrote to say, 'last night when we were saying prayers, my daddy said everyone has done wrong things except Jesus. I said I don't think you have done bad things because you are the prime minister. Am I right or is my daddy?" Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that the PM replied in her own hand in a very straightforward letter which took the question seriously. "However good we try to be, we can never be as kind, gentle and wise as Jesus. There will be times when we do or say something we wish we hadn't done and we shall be sorry and try not to do it again… If you and I were to paint a picture, it wouldn't be as good as the picture of great artists. So our lives can't be as good as the life of Jesus."


    The BBC's Ian White tweets this picture of three people watching Lady Thatcher's funeral on the big screen in Leeds city centre.

    1152: Gerry Holt BBC News

    Those at the back of the crowd on the streets are beginning to disperse, while those at the front, who waited the longest to capture a final glimpse of the late former PM, appear staunch in their determination to stay on.


    In Cecil Spring-Rice's I vow to thee, my country, adapted from Jupiter (The Planets) by Gustav Holst, the congregation sings:

    "And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,

    "Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know."


    The blessing is given by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who says: "Support us, O Lord, all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done."

    Justin Welby

    The Archbishop of Canterbury delivers the blessing.


    The coffin is carried out, accompanied by Baroness Thatcher's family, to Charles Villiers Stanford's Nunc dimittis from Evening Service in G.

    It says: "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word."

    Phil Mackie BBC News

    A man who was (loudly) trying to arrange a protest on his phone has been detained by police in London's Trafalgar Square


    The sun is streaming in through the west door of St Paul's now, as the coffin is carried out, and the Queen and Prince Philip follow.

    Coffin leaves St Paul's

    The coffin is carried out of St Paul's, followed by the Thatcher family.

    1203: Gerry Holt BBC News

    One protester with a megaphone is speaking to the crowd, although it is hard to hear what he has to say as he is drowned out by booing. An impromptu sing-song of Land of Hope and Glory receives a cheer, as does the raising of a banner saying: "Margaret Thatcher. She put the Great back into Great Britain." The pro-Thatcher contingent appears to be ruling the roost here.

    1204: Gerry Holt BBC News

    The crowd stands to attention once more as the bells of St Paul's ring out. There are several cheers of hip hip hooray, followed by lengthy applause as Lady Thatcher's coffin descends the steps.

    Coffin leaves St Paul's

    The bells of St Paul's ring as the coffin leaves the West Door.


    There was some applause from the crowd as the coffin left St Paul's.


    The hearse will now leave from the bottom of the West Steps of the cathedral for The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The chaplain of the Royal Hospital, the Reverend Dick Whittington, will accompany the coffin.

    1208: Gerry Holt BBC News

    Camera phones return to their lofty positions once again as the crowds vie for one last picture of the Iron Lady before her coffin departs in a hearse.


    There will be two receptions following the funeral service. Foreign Secretary William Hague will host a reception at the Mansion House for representatives from foreign states and other distinguished foreign VIPs.


    At Guildhall there will be a reception for friends and family of Lady Thatcher and representatives of UK institutions. The Thatcher family, the prime minister and other senior ministers will attend both receptions.


    BBC Radio 5 live's chief political correspondent John Pienaar says the atmosphere of respect and reverence on the streets of London has been the most striking feature of the funeral of such a divisive political figure.

    A few people turned their backs, he said, but the respect accorded on the streets, and the role of two Labour former prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in planning the funeral, tell something of her, and the place she has in the country.

    Queen and Thatcher family

    The Queen speaks to the Thatcher family. Lady Thatcher was the eighth prime minister during the Queen's reign.

    Rosa Silverman Daily Telegraph reporter

    tweets: I met 28-yr-old Pole outside Parliament who'd never been to Britain before but paid £200 to come today to catch glimpse of hearse #thatcher

    1215: Gerry Holt BBC News

    There is further applause - and cameras click and flash - as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh depart.


    "Sam Cam" is currently the top trending phrase on Twitter in the UK, with people commenting on the PM's wife's choice of outfit. Other trends include #thatcherfuneral, #funeral and St Pauls.


    The BBC's Nick Sutton tweets this picture of the size of the crowd gathered outside St Paul's Cathedral.

    Crowds outside St Pauls
    1223: Nick Robinson Political editor

    To see the Chancellor [George Osborne] wipe away a tear from his cheek at one point - we all know if we have lost a loved one, we can't be sure if that tear was for Lady Thatcher or some personal memory anyone of us can have in a service of that sort - but it was striking that it happened.

    1224: Nick Robinson Political editor

    Again and again the crowd cheered, as if they wanted to say, "after all this contention and debate, we're here to cheer you on your last journey".

    1228: Gerry Holt BBC News

    It is not only Brits who have turned out today.

    Lesley-Ann Coker, 37, from California, says she has never seen anything quite like it. "When the carriage passed by I just kept saying 'Wow'. I got goosebumps and I'm still shaking."

    Mrs Coker, who is on holiday in London, adds: "As soon as I heard the funeral was today I just had to come down here. I really wanted to be a part of history."

    She says she admired "the spectacle, the pageantry and the emotion of the day".

    "I didn't expect to feel quite so emotional but the crowd was just so respectful and silent. After everything in the news this week it was nice to see everyone give her the proper send off," she adds.


    Outside St Paul's, the Conservative MP Gerald Howarth tells the BBC it was a "magnificent funeral" and praises the assured opening reading by Baroness Thatcher's 19-year-old granddaughter, Amanda.


    Regarding the reported £10m cost of Baroness Thatcher's funeral, one spectator, Sharon says: "I don't know what all the fuss was about". Adding that as the first female prime minister she was historic, she says: "It was beautifully done, as usual, we do these things very well in Britain".

    Her son Jacob, who was not alive during Baroness Thatcher's premiership, says he was expecting shouting and more protest. "But it was very respectful and quite decent really."


    Political commentator and former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil says the most moving aspect happened outside St Paul's - the congregation inside was moved to tears by the sound of the cheers from the crowd on the streets.

    Overhead view of Lady Thatcher's coffin in St Paul's Cathedral

    An overhead view of Lady Thatcher's coffin and the congregation during the funeral at St Paul's.


    Conservative MP Gerald Howarth tells the BBC that her funeral was "wholly appropriate, beautifully done". Yet of Baroness Thatcher's legacy, he says: "The battle about her premiership - well, let the battle commence."

    Nick Robinson Political editor

    Are we, as David Cameron asserted this morning, we all Thatcherites now?


    The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson points out the extraordinarily powerful symbolism of the Queen, the monarch, standing on the steps of St Paul's as she watched the body of a politician being taken away. "My sense is, we will never see that again in our lifetime," he says of the honour the Queen gave to Margaret Thatcher.


    Big Ben is still silent and will stay so for a further 11 minutes, as a sign of Parliament's respect for Margaret Thatcher.


    Protester Dominic Burrows, 45, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, wore a V for Vendetta mask outside St Paul's, to protest silently, says the BBC's Gerry Holt.

    "We've got people starving in this country and people going to food banks because of welfare cuts. It is too much to be spending (on a funeral)," he says.

    In line with many protests about the reported £10m cost of the funeral, he says, organisers should have put the occasion out to tender, and gone for the cheapest bid - "That's what she would have wanted".


    It seems the funeral passed off with the smallest of disturbances on the streets.

    The Metropolitan Police said extra officers stepped in after a barrier was pushed over at Ludgate Circus, with a small group of protesters behind.

    It happened as the funeral cortege was a short distance away, but there were no arrests.


    The Met Police added: "Police also received reports of items being thrown towards the funeral cortege, however we can confirm that these were flowers."


    Following Baroness Thatcher's funeral - held at St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London - two receptions are being held.

    One is at the Mansion House in the City - for foreign diplomats and dignitaries - hosted by Foreign Secretary William Hague and his wife Ffion.

    Security around Mansion House is exceptionally tight with other guests including a range of current international leaders, former Prime Minister John Major, opposition leader Ed Miliband as well as members of the cabinet and members of Lady Thatcher's cabinet.

    A small media group is allowed to observe the dignitaries arriving from a distance of about 70ft but no questions are allowed.

    Tony Smith

    tweets: Crowds now streaming home, many surprised that the hearse didn't go along processional route to crematorium. Some sense of anti-climax.

    1303: Stephen Chittenden BBC Radio 5 live

    Guests arriving at the Guildhall include the singer Katherine Jenkins, former cabinet ministers Geoffrey Howe, Leon Brittan and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, journalists Eve Pollard and Simon Heffer. Lord Archer and his wife Mary. Current politicians included Bill Cash, Liam Fox and former shadow home secretary David Davis, who commented that the funeral service had "that essential British ingredient, humour".

    Luisa Baldini, BBC News

    tweets: Just bumped into Michael Portillo on the tube after the #Thatcher funeral. He said he thought it was a "magnificent" service.


    Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson tells Radio 4's The World at One that he admired Baroness Thatcher's direct turn of phrase. He says: "Margaret Thatcher spoke in very clear, often very Anglo-Saxon English, about how we should get on, how everything should work."

    1307: Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

    tweets the reaction from protesters at Ludgate Circus after the funeral had taken place.

    "I'm really glad the protest went ahead and a lot of people came out to show they do not want this state-funded funeral," says Rebecca Lush Blum.

    "The clapping, booing, perfectly illustrated what an extremely divisive politician Margaret Thatcher was, and that this type of ceremonial funeral was not appropriate."

    Jack, Faversham, Kent

    emails: Stood maybe 40 metres from the steps of St Pauls - and am proud to be British. Saw nothing but dignity and respect. Heard nothing but applause and cheering. The performance of the troops supporting the event was faultlessly professional. This is how a nation says farewell to a great leader.

    Protesters in South Yorkshire

    Away from the pomp and ceremony in London, there have been events staged by groups angry at Baroness Thatcher's political legacy. In South Yorkshire, some 500 people gathered in Goldthorpe for an anti-Thatcher parade, Gina Bolton from BBC Sheffield reports.


    Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson tells Radio 4's The World at One that Margaret Thatcher changed UK politics. "She really was someone that transformed the debate. She transformed the Labour Party," he says.

    Commenting on the crowds remembering her today, Mr Johnson says she stirred people's imagination in a way that other prime ministers had not.

    "It is no disrespect to other prime ministers that died recently," he says, adding: "I do think that people in 20, 50 years time will see that she really was hewn of a different timber. She was presented with some very, very serious problems and she overcame all of them."


    The Thatcher family have left a reception at Mansion House, BBC Radio 5 live's Lesley Ashmall says.

    The hearse carrying Baroness Thatcher's coffin is due to travel to Mortlake crematorium.


    The Thatcher family and Prime Minister David Cameron have arrived at the Guildhall to join the funeral reception for the friends and family of Lady Thatcher.

    It's one of two receptions being held - Foreign Secretary William Hague is hosting one at Mansion House for foreign dignitaries and VIPs.

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Poll for @ipsosMORI says more people wd trust Lady #thatcher to tackle our economic difficulties than any of her successors


    Falklands veteran Simon Weston said the funeral had been "special and I felt honoured and privileged to have been there".

    "It was great that the services had an involvement, particularly because we had such a big role in her career," he told reporters.

    "She was always really good with the guys. The Falklands will always be one of the biggest parts of her legacy."

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Half (51%) of Conservative supporters believe David Cameron wd be a better PM if he was more like Lady #Thatcher - @ipsosMORI poll

    1348: Mark Easton Home editor

    It was a funeral conducted beneath a neutral grey sky, but many of those who lined the streets had come because Margaret Thatcher personified the very opposite of what the weather had to offer - it was a tribute to conviction politics. Read my full reflections on the event


    The latest pictures from the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, here.


    Conservative MP Ken Clarke says the funeral was a "good send off". He says the scene in St Paul's, filled with foreign dignitaries and members of the Thatcher era, was a "very fitting way" to remember a woman who was historically "very important".

    Agreeing that it was rare opportunity for the cast of the political satire Spitting Image to reunite, he joked: "By now they are probably looking as bad as they all did on Spitting Image."

    Halin Samuels, Auckland, New Zealand

    emails: However you may feel about her very divisive premiership, it can not be doubted she had conviction, immense personal strength and a strong sense of love for the nation which she so proudly led.


    The former Conservative chancellor, Ken Clarke, says the Baroness could never put up with people unable to make decisions, and the country needed that kind of single-minded purpose.

    And he described the setting of St Paul's today as "awesome".

    1357: Laura-Anne Reginald, Manchester

    emails: I saw the live coverage of the service and it was a fitting tribute indeed to a great leader.

    "Pleased that virtually everyone in the watching crowds showed due respect and dignity as we have the eyes of the world upon us today. I for one am proud to be British.


    Margaret Thatcher's driver Denis Oliver tells BBC 5 live's Shelagh Fogarty about her leaving Downing Street in 1990 for the last time as prime minister, to tender her resignation to the Queen.

    "It was quite a poignant time. We went to the palace to hand in the ministerial seal and I don't think a word was spoken the whole way."

    But he says she regained her composure "immediately" after the picture of her looking tearful was taken inside the car.


    James Baker, US secretary of state under the first President Bush and Ronald Reagan's chief of staff throughout his first term, attended the funeral.

    He told BBC World Service radio's Newshour that history would be far different if she had not been prime minister during those years.

    "We would not have seen the fundamental changes that took place in the world during that incredibly important time in history. The (Berlin) Wall came down and communism collapsed and the Soviet Union imploded," he says.


    Mr Baker adds: "There were times when we saw things differently, but that's the way it is with strong allies.

    "Margaret was someone who really loved to have a vigorous debate with you about policy. President Reagan appreciated it terrifically and so frankly did President George H W Bush."


    Brian Mulroney, the former Prime Minister of Canada and friend of Lady Thatcher's, said her funeral was "simple and beautiful and it was a great honour to be there".

    Mr Mulroney, 74, says: "She made a singular contribution to the UK and the world. Great leaders provoke great change and with great change there is a lot of reaction. We think our countries don't have to change but they do. She revolutionised her country.

    "She revolutionised the UK and in the process irritated a lot of people and some of them are still here but her good works live on."

    Lyndon Simkin, Oxford

    emails: In London for meetings today, right next to the route. My two taxi drivers today have typified the debate. The first moaned about Mrs Thatcher, her policies, the fuss, cost and hassle to him doing his job. The second was proud of what his city has staged and felt it a fitting tribute. Sums it up.


    One protester stood outside the shop where Baroness Thatcher grew up in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

    John Morgan, secretary of the Grantham Labour Party, held a placard that said "Grantham resident against Maggie".

    He said he was there to protest against the cost of the funeral.

    1408: James Landale Deputy Political Editor, BBC News

    The essential truth is that today's generation of politicians cannot escape the debate about Lady Thatcher's legacy. It is still too soon. It is not over and a funeral and an interment will not bring it to an end.

    In death as in life the shadow she casts is long. Read my thoughts on the funeral and Lady Thatcher's legacy here.


    Former Cabinet member during the Thatcher years, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, says the funeral had been "in every respect perfect for the occasion". "You can't mourn too much when someone is 87, has had an extraordinary life and has achieved so much," he said.


    Stars of TV, politics and music have been arriving at the funeral reception, including Shirley Bassey and Jeremy Clarkson.

    Former members of the Thatcher cabinet, Lords Heseltine and Parkinson and John Gummer. Top civil servants Sir Bob Kerslake and Sir Jeremy Heywood stayed for just a short time. Lady Thatcher's former policy chief and cabinet minister John Redwood said, "she's the best boss I ever had".

    Lynne Fearnley, Cambridge

    emails: Perhaps the cheers and applause celebrate her death not her life; why else cheer and applaud at a funeral? Not a traditional expression of mourning, surely?

    Stuart Mitchell, Essex

    email: A fitting spectacle to our last great political leader, thanks for all you did Maggie. RIP we will never have the quality and leadership you gave us again.


    One village scarred by pit closures, Goldthorpe, in South Yorkshire, has held a "party" in protest at Lady Thatcher's policies. A horse-drawn, open coffin housing an effigy of the ex-Prime Minister, was paraded through the village. Read our full story here.

    Fiona Craig, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

    emails: As a Brit in Lexington, the US, I got up at 4.30 am today to watch online.

    Growing up in Cornwall, I was a student at Leeds University during the 1980's, and remember so well the anguish of the miners' strikes, but I also lost school friends from Cornwall in the marines and navy during the Falklands.

    A time of very mixed emotions and memories, a hard women to have a single opinion about, but Margaret Thatcher fully deserved the respect she received today from her country, from the Queen to the man in the street.

    1429: Danny Savage North of England Correspondent, BBC News

    About 2,000 people have gathered in Goldthorpe for the anti-Thatcher protest. The crowd seems to be good natured. The South Yorkshire police helicopter is overhead. The scale of the protest is so large that roads are blocked and traffic is having to be turned round.

    Chris Williams, Shepshed, Leicestershire

    emails: I have to say I'm absolutely mortified at this funeral. I can honestly say that there's not a single ordinary working person that I've spoken to who isn't absolutely disgusted at this funeral taking place. The media have been completely biased in their representation of Thatcher's death and subsequent funeral arrangements and have largely ignored how unhappy the population is about this.

    I think it was an extremely poor decision on behalf of the government to celebrate the life of a woman who left whole communities in ruins and destroyed thousands of peoples lives, communities that never recovered from Thatcher's hard nosed, ruthless brand of politics.

    Sarah Brown

    tweets: Lady Thatcher's funeral service seemed to have all she wanted in it. Her granddaughter gave her reading very well despite daunting occasion

    Walter Harris, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    emails: I am a British subject, though born in Brazil. I followed Lady Thatcher's career through the turbulent times when she was Prime Minister. Britain would not be what it is today, if she had not been the Iron Lady with an iron hand. The tribute to her today is well deserved, though I do not believe she would have agreed with all the expenditure for her funeral..

    The Evening Standard's front page

    The London Evening Standard's front page carries a picture of the coffin on the gun carriage with the headline, "final journey into history".


    You can see some of the key images from the funeral procession and service for Baroness Thatcher by clicking here.


    A planned protest is currently taking place at Free Derry Corner in Londonderry, where around 60 nationalists gathered at 14:00 BST. Some are holding pictures of hunger strikers and one or two anti-Margaret Thatcher banners can be seen. The protest is peaceful, and roads have not been blocked. Participants include mothers with their children and police are keeping a low profile.

    Tim Montgomerie, Times comment pages editor

    tweets: Privilege to attend today's funeral of Lady T. Wonderful to hear crowd's warmth at service's end as St Paul's doors were opened. RIP Maggie.

    Pete, London

    emails: This ceremony was sadly overblown and the proceedings unnecessarily militarised, the sermon almost cowardly.


    The planned anti-Thatcher protest by nationalists at Free Derry Corner ended at 14.45 BST. Everyone has dispersed, and the entire event passed peacefully.


    All roads closed for the funeral have reopened, the Met Police report.


    Former chief policy adviser to Baroness Thatcher, Conservative MP John Redwood, describes her as "the best boss I ever had". "The most moving moment inside the cathedral was when they opened up the great doors and we could hear the noise outside. It was exactly the kind of tribute you would hope for - we are grieving a loss but also commemorating a life well-led, an extraordinarily active life."

    UK politicians

    Baroness Thatcher's funeral brought together leading figures from across British politics. In this photo, former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour former Prime Minister Tony Blair are seen talking after the service.


    Documentary film maker Michael Cockerell tells BBC World Service radio's Newshour it is difficult to imagine any other prime minister getting a funeral on such a scale. "She will always be remembered for ever because she was the first woman prime minister in a party where only 4% of MPs were women and which had a strong tradition of misogyny," he says.


    Mr Cockerell adds: "She was two people: sometimes the fluffy sometimes the toughie. When you came to interview her she would say, 'what a lovely tie', and put your tie straight, but other times interviewing her… she would come up with the sound bites she'd spent so long rehearsing with her rough, tough, Yorkshire press secretary Bernard Ingham."


    Dr Eliza Filby, lecturer in modern British history at King's College London, tells Newshour this was a "state funeral in all but name," with Churchill's 1965 state funeral "the obvious comparison". She adds: "The military presence today was a reflection of the importance of the Falklands War to her personally and politically. The ceremony today was maybe putting Thatcherism to bed. In a way it was the end of an era."


    Ms Filby adds: "History will have a much less emotive assessment of Margaret Thatcher who was incredibly pragmatic, not always strictly an ideological politician. There were lots of paradoxes to her reign. She was lucky in her enemies, most importantly, whether it be Arthur Scargill, Argentine President Galtieri or Ted Heath, she was very lucky to seize the leadership at a moment when Keith Joseph had a wobble and realised he couldn't go for it himself."

    Alex Salmond

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond attended the funeral. Last week he said Baroness Thatcher was a strong leader, despite routinely calling into question the impact of her policies.

    Martin Young, London

    emails: I stood on Ludgate Hill today and applauded as the funeral procession went past. I applauded because it was my quiet way of expressing, like many people lining the streets today our emotion; celebrating the life of a leader who did so much for her country.

    She embodied what we can do for Britain not the other way around! Well done Maggie; Great Innings!

    Stuart Hughes BBC News
    Onlookers at Mortlake

    A small crowd of onlookers at Mortlake Crematorium, awaiting arrival of Baroness #Thatcher funeral cortège.

    Terry Lynch, Loughton, Essex

    emails: £10M funeral for a Prime Minister that polarised a nation, not cost effective for the UK Tax payer. Would have been better spent funding 400 Nurses or helping UK veterans from Afghanistan and get the Thatcher family to pay the Funeral bill.

    Michael Savage Political reporter, the Times

    tweets: The costs of last week's Commons recall for the #Thatcher debate "expected to be around £20,000", according to the Commons Commission.


    Here's BBC deputy political editor James Landale's take on Baroness Thatcher's funeral - "the passing of an old lady with dementia who suffered a fatal stroke".


    The Metropolitan Police officer in charge of security for Baroness Thatcher's funeral has thanked Londoners and visitors for their co-operation. Commander Christine Jones also praised those who "enabled us to facilitate their peaceful protest in a way which did not impact either their protest or those who wished to pay their respects". The Met had 4,000 officers on duty for the funeral.

    Hearse at Royal Hospital

    The hearse prepares to leave the Royal Hospital Chelsea ahead of a private cremation at Mortlake Crematorium in south-west London.

    George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer

    tweets: A moving, almost overwhelming day.

    1548: Gerry Holt BBC News

    Central London came to a pause on Wednesday morning as Baroness Thatcher's funeral procession passed. But what did those in the crowds think of the former prime minister? Read my feature in full here.

    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Margaret Beckett says she found some of "parade" over Lady #Thatcher funeral "discomforting"


    Commenting on Baroness Thatcher's legacy, the Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett shares with the BBC the opinion of the late Conservative MP Alan Clark. He served as a junior minister in the Thatcher government.

    Dame Margaret says: "Just before he died, Alan Clark told me that his next book was going to be about the way the Thatcher government had betrayed the British people by their failure to use the oil reserves of the North Sea."

    During the 1980s, the government received a windfall of £166bn which it used to offset public spending.

    Dame Margaret says the money could have been used differently. "That was an enormous opportunity and I'm not sure that history will overlook the opportunity it gave Thatcher in the way it is (being overlooked) today," Dame Margaret concluded.


    There is a police presence at Mortlake Crematorium, but it is the opposite of the presence and ceremony seen in central London earlier today, the BBC's Vicki Young says.

    It is a much quieter affair than the very public ceremony.

    "Other families are here at the crematorium to say goodbye to their loved ones, as Mrs Thatcher's family will do later on."

    Tim Shipman Deputy political editor Daily Mail

    tweets: Morning suit: Dave, Mili, Clegg, Major, Osborne, Hammond, Bercow. Lounge suits: Boris, Blair, Gordon, Ken, Cable, Clarkson.


    In the south Yorkshire town of Goldthorpe an effigy of Lady Thatcher has been carried to waste ground by a row of derelict terrace houses. Fireworks were set off before it was placed on a pyre, along with a floral wreath that spelled "SCAB". It was then lit to cries of "scab, scab, scab" and loud cheers.


    Paying tribute to Margaret Thatcher, the UN Security Council stood in silent tribute, except for Argentina's UN Ambassador whose seat is empty, according to the Associated Press news agency. The former UK prime minister sent British troops to the Falkland Islands in 1982 after Argentina invaded.

    Argentina's Maria Cristina Perceval returns to her seat after the silence to hear the Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, whose country holds the council presidency, express the council's "deepest sympathy for the Boston senseless killings".

    Matthew Paddock, London

    emails: Agreed the amount being spent on the funeral is way too much. However protesting against Margret Thatcher? Is a bit late for that now? This is a funeral to pay respects for another persons life. Regardless of how you think she ran the country, today isn't about that.


    The hearse carrying Margaret Thatcher's coffin is followed by four cars as it leaves Chelsea and heads across south west London to Mortlake Crematorium.

    Three police outriders are travelling in front of it for the 15-20 minute journey.


    As Baroness Thatcher's hearse makes its way across south-west London for a private cremation, we leave our online live coverage. See our news story here, and get more reaction and analysis in our special report.


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