Thousands gathered outside St. Paul’s Cathedral church in London on Wednesday, April 17, as the funeral of the “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher took place.
Members of Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron, Queen Elizabeth and other international political figures paid respect to the Baroness in honor of her years served as Britain’s first female prime minister and her unforgettable political dominance, which has shaped Britain’s economy to this day.
According to the BBC, Cameron described Thatcher as an “extraordinary leader and an extraordinary woman.” In his speech, he eulogized Thatcher as an outstanding political figure who stood firm on the policies that she developed for Britain.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband described Thatcher as a “unique and towering figure,” although he disagreed with much of what she said.
Throughout England though, protestors commemorated Thatcher’s death with dissent. Some among the protestors reported to have planned this demonstration against her for 30 years. While half of Britain mourned her death, the other half were not pleased, as taxpayers complained that the funeral for Thatcher was too costly at an estimated $15.2 million.
Diane Abbott, frontbencher for the Labour Party, stated, “We seem to be spending 10 million on what is a state funeral in all but name, and I don’t understand why what every single prime minister in the past century did couldn’t have been done by Mrs. Thatcher.” The shadow health minister told BBC Radio that people were affronted that in these times of economic hardship, this multimillion-dollar event was held, especially for such a polarizing figure. Nonetheless, Cameron defended the price of the funeral.
Former miners in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire, paraded the streets with an effigy of the ex-Tory leader, which they then put in a coffin and set ablaze in protest of Thatcher’s mine strike/closure throughout England in the mid-1980s.
Nonetheless, others praised the late prime minister. “Thatcher the politician was a nightmare. But I salute Thatcher the woman,” wrote Guardian columnist Deborah Orr.
Although the Iron Lady has been laid to rest, she certainly has left an indelible mark on Britain’s history.