Lady Thatcher: Well-known hymns and poems for funeral

Image caption Soldiers have been preparing the gun carriage that will carry Baroness Thatcher's coffin

Well-known hymns and poems will mark Baroness Thatcher's funeral on Wednesday, Downing Street says.

Details of the ceremony have been published, including the hymns To Be A Pilgrim, I Vow to Thee My Country and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

The order of service features Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality and TS Eliot's Little Gidding.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Grantham - where Lady Thatcher was born - called the scale of the event a "mistake".

Speaking to BBC Lincolnshire, the Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis said the ceremonial funeral was "asking for trouble" and should be "more low-key and personal", because people would use the event for their own political agenda.

In other developments:

  • Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead - from the 1939 musical film the Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland - reached number two in the music charts. The song has been at the centre of an online campaign by opponents of Baroness Thatcher
  • Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott has criticised plans for taxpayers' money to be used for the funeral, writing in his Sunday Mirror column that "this country paid enough thanks to that woman"
  • A ComRes poll of 2,012 people - carried out for the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror on 10-11 April - found 60% of those asked opposed state funding for the funeral, while 25% supported it
  • Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Parkinson, one of Lady Thatcher's closest aides, has urged those wanting to show their "disapproval" of her at the funeral to do so in an "agreeable way"
  • A total of 16 people were arrested during protests on Saturday night, as between 2,000 and 3,000 took part in a demonstration condemning Lady Thatcher in Trafalgar Square, London
  • The Scottish Parliament will debate Lady Thatcher's legacy on the day of her funeral, following moves by the Green-Independent group. Scottish Conservatives say the timing is offensive
  • Supporters of Lady Thatcher are planning to create a museum, library and educational centre as a permanent memorial to the former prime minister in London
  • The Queen has given her consent for Lady Thatcher's body to rest overnight in Parliament's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, ahead of the funeral - as requested by the former PM
  • Latest confirmed guests include Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards, celebrity chef Marco Pierre White and Formula One boss Sir Frank Williams
  • Respect MP George Galloway has said he will block a motion to cancel Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday because it is "imperative" the PM is questioned about the "unnecessary and expensive early return of Parliament"
  • About 100 people, including family, MPs and peers, will attend a short service on Tuesday evening, led by the Dean of Westminster

Chelsea link

Lady Thatcher, who died at the age of 87 on 8 April, has been awarded a ceremonial funeral with military honours, one step down from a state funeral.

It has been reported she herself insisted she did not want her body to lie in state or money to be spent on a fly-past. It was also her wish the armed forces play a key part in the ceremony.

On Wednesday, the former prime minister's coffin will travel by hearse to the Church of St Clement Danes - the Central Church of the Royal Air Force - on the Strand.

It will then be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Artillery and taken in procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul's Cathedral. The route will be lined by military personnel from all three services.

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Media captionThe BBC's Nicholas Witchell talks through the funeral procession route

Fourteen Chelsea Pensioners, aged from 65 to 90, will line the steps of St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday as the cortege and military escort draw up to the sound of a half-muffled bell.

The coffin will be carried into and out of the cathedral by bearers from military units closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

The occasion will be marked by a processional band of the Royal Marines and a gun salute at the Tower of London.

Senior politicians and foreign heads of state will take their seats under the dome of St Paul's before members of the Thatcher family followed by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are escorted from the Great West Door.

In front of the coffin, Lady Thatcher's grandchildren Michael and Amanda Thatcher will lay cushions bearing the insignia of two orders she was appointed to - the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit - on the Dome Altar.

Amanda Thatcher and Prime Minister David Cameron will deliver two readings from the King James Bible.

St Paul's Cathedral has now published a full funeral programme.

Downing Street said Lady Thatcher wanted the service to be "framed" by British music.

It will include compositions by Henry Purcell, Gustav Holst, John Ireland, Herbert Howells, Edward Elgar, Frank Bridge, Charles Stanford, Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams - as well as Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Faure and Johann Sebastian Bach.

The Bishop of London Richard Chartres will preach, and the blessing will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The invitation-only funeral will be followed by a private cremation. Lady Thatcher's family have asked well-wishers to consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, rather than giving flowers.

Downing Street says Lady Thatcher's estate has offered to make a contribution to the costs of the funeral.

The Metropolitan Police acknowledges the "potential for protest" but says it will want to ensure the wishes of those paying their respects will be upheld.



  • The funeral procession will set out from the Palace of Westminster with Baroness Thatcher's body carried in a hearse for the first part of the journey. The coffin will be trasferred to a gun carriage at the church of St Clement Danes on the Strand.

  • Baroness Thatcher's body will lie overnight in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft which is found beneath St Stephen's Hall at the Palace of Westminster.

St Clement Danes

St Clement Danes

At the RAF Chapel at the church of St Clement Danes on the Strand, Baroness Thatcher's coffin will be borne in procession to St Paul's Cathedral on a gun carriage drawn by six horses of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

St Paul's Cathedral

  • There will be a Guard of Honour outside St Paul's as the coffin is transferred into the Cathedral by service personnel from regiments and ships closely associated with the Falklands campaign.

  • The ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral will be attended by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, family and friends of Baroness Thatcher, members of her cabinets and dignitaries from around the world.

Downing Street

  • The funeral passes Downing Street, which is found on the left of the route along Whitehall.

  • Baroness Thatcher was resident at Number 10 for more than ten years following her General Election victory in 1979.

Ceremonial procession

Once the procession leaves St Clement Danes, the route to St Paul's along Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill will be lined by more than 700 armed forces personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, F Company Scots Guards, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, and the Royal Air Force.

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