Baroness Margaret Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, PC, FRS would have been 90 years old today (13 October 2015) if she was still alive. Sadly, she died on 8 April 2013 after suffering a stroke. Her daughter, Carol had let it be know that she was suffering from dementia and seems to have declined steadily since the death of her beloved Denis on 26 June 2003. In line with her wishes she received a ceremonial funeral, including full military honours, with a church service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 17 April. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended the funeral, the second time in the Queen’s reign that she had attended the funeral of a former prime minister, the first being Winston Churchill’s in 1965.
She was appointed a Privy Counsellor (PC) upon becoming Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1970. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Merit (OM) (an Order within the personal gift of the Queen) within two weeks of leaving office. Denis Thatcher was made a Baronet at the same time. She became a peeress in the House of
Lords in 1992 as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire. She was appointed a Lady Companion of the Order of the Garter (LG), the United Kingdom’s highest order of chivalry, in 1995. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1983, not without some controversy among some of the existing Fellows who exacted their revenge when, to its eternal shame, the University of Oxford (of which Margaret Thatcher was an alumnus, having graduated from Somerville College) voted against awarding her an honorary doctorate.
What can I say about her? She transformed this country. She gave us back our pride though her determined leadership. Churchill led the war against Fascist tyranny and was a great wartime leader. Margaret Thatcher led the fight against insipid liberalism and the tyranny of the left and was our greatest peace time leader of her century. She led a Party that was fractious and not always welcoming of its first woman leader and the country’s first woman Prime Minister. She was inspirational, not without her faults and flaws but this country would be infinitely poorer if she had not served as its Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.
The second volume of Charles Moore’s biography of this great lady is available from the Daily Telegraph and is a great read.
Requiescat in pace, Margaret.