|Mourner carries the sign "But we loved her" as cortege passes on the way to St. Paul's.|
It’s the silence that strikes you.Then as the procession got underway the silence was broken. Not by protests. Thankfully most protesters were probably still in bed. No, the sound of applause and even cheers followed the Iron Lady every step along the way to the Cathedral. Then, silence once again as her body entered the church. White Flowers on top of the coffin held a card from the family saying simply: "Beloved Mother- Always in our Hearts."
So many people, 10 deep opposite the Navy church of St Clement Dane in the Strand, as they transferred the hearse to the gun carriage, and all so quiet. No one talked.
The bell started tolling at 10:25. The band struck up; some shouted military orders; then silence again, but for the bell. At 10:35, the first chords of the funeral march, and the cortege set off, slowly, deliberately, precisely. At some time, without my noticing, the men doffed their headwear. All of them, the hats, the flat caps and the baseball caps, despite the light drizzle.
As Lady Thatcher's coffin entered St. Paul's it was proceeded by Thatcher's grandchildren, Michael and Amanda, who walked ahead of the coffin carrying cushions bearing the insignia of the Order of the Garter and Order of Merit, which were laid on the altar.
Iron Granddaughter: Flawless Reading by 19 Year Old Amanda Margaret Thatcher
Thatcher's grandchildren were the "greatest delight" in her life in later years. So, it was fitting that her 19 year old Amanda delivered the first reading from Ephesians 6, verses 10-18. followed by the Prime Minster David Cameron. Quite a feat for young student at the University of Richmond, USA. Both she and her brother live in the United States after her mother divorced their father Mark.
Reading from Ephesians 6: ‘And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.'
Afterwards, the Queen and Prince Philip greeted the family on the steps of St. Paul's. After cremation Lady Thatcher's ashes will be interred next to her husband Denis at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The Daily Mail has a full photo wrap up of the event.
The World is a far better place because of Margaret Thatcher. We can only hope that in the not too distant future another leader rises to take her place. Her legacy is that a clear vision, solid principles and the determined leadership to achieve goals can change the world and bring peace.
I think back to the day she entered Number 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time. She repeated the words of St. Francis of Assisi:
"Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope."
Thatcher may not have achieved the total harmony of those who hate her. But she does have the love and respect of freedom lovers the world over for countering error with truth and bringing hope for all. She renewed our faith that there IS a better way but the path requires visionary leadership such as her example.
Rest in Peace!