David Cameron: 'She was a very brave woman doing a tough job'

Speaking ahead of Lady Thatcher's funeral this morning, David Cameron paid tribute to Britain's longest-serving Prime Minister.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

The Queen, alongside 2,300 people from 170 countries, attended Lady Thatcher's funeral this morning. Despite fears in the wake of the Boston bombings that the occasion could be a target for terrorists, the coffin - draped in a Union Jack flag - was transported from Parliament to St Pauls without a hitch. The protests that were predicted to bring chaos to the procession also did not materialise.

Speaking ahead of the event, Prime Minister David Cameron defended his decision to have a full ceremonial funeral with military honours (one step down from a state funeral) for Thatcher 23 years after she left 10 Downing Street for the last time. 'I think it will be quite a sombre event, but it is a fitting tribute to a great prime minister respected around the world,' he said. '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.'

'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,' he continued.

The Dean of St Pauls, the Very Rev Dr David Ison, added that the service was kept simple in line with Thatcher's own wishes. 'Mrs Thatcher wanted something that was very simple and it is not at all triumphalist,' he explained. 'There is no eulogy, she is only mentioned once or twice in the service. It uses the book of common prayer, which is actually quite austere in places.'

An austere funeral for an austere Britain.

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