Margaret Thatcher Funeral: Military, Royal Send-off for Iron Lady

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 9, 2013 3:26 PM EST

Despite being Britain's former prime minister, Margaret Thatcher would not get a state funeral next week. Instead, she will be given a royal and military funeral, Downing Street announced on Tuesday.

It is the same funeral status as the Queen Mother in 2002 and Princess Diana in 2007. The full state funeral is accorded to monarch a few exceptionally distinguished individuals.

The last time Britain had a state funeral were for Winston Churchill, military commander Frederick Roberts and former Ulster Unionist Party leader Edward Carson.

In the 19th century, there were five non-royal state funerals for Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, and former Prime Ministers Viscount Palmerston, William Gladstone, and Charles Darwin.

It will be held at the St Paul's Cathedral, the choice of Ms Thatcher. The country's royalty will attend the funeral, but it is not sure yet if the Queen could go because events that involve the monarch must be planned ahead.

However, it is still undecided if the Iron Lady will lie in state in Westminster Hall, where Mr Churchill's wake was also held, although the Queen has allowed the body of Ms Thatcher to lie on the eve of her funeral in the Chapel of St Mary's Undercroft which is just beneath Westminster Hall.

On the day of the funeral, the former PM's coffin will travel on a hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes, the central church of the Royal Air Force, just outside London's boundary. It will then be transferred to a gun carriage as troops line the route to St Paul's Cathedral. The pall bearers are troops from the army. navy and air force.

Ms Thatcher died on Monday morning after a stroke at the age of 87. She was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, Britain's first and only female prime minister.

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