Thatcher funeral: Guide to the day

The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, the first female UK prime minister, will be along the same lines as those of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother.

She has been awarded a ceremonial funeral with military honours which will take place on Wednesday, 17 April, at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

It will be the first time the Queen has attended the funeral of a British prime minister since that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

Funeral route

On Tuesday - the day before the funeral - Baroness Thatcher's coffin was moved to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster ahead of a short service for about 100 people led by the Dean of Westminster.

The service was attended by family members, senior figures from the House of Commons and House of Lords as well as some Westminster staff who knew or worked closely with Baroness Thatcher.

The Speaker's Chaplain, the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, will be keeping vigil in the Chapel throughout the night.

On the day of the funeral itself, the coffin will travel by hearse from the Palace of Westminster at 10:00 BST to the Church of St Clement Danes - the Central Church of the Royal Air Force - on the Strand.

The coffin will then be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and taken in procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul's Cathedral just after 10:30 BST. The route will be lined by military personnel from all three services.

The funeral route in one minute


The processional route from St Clement Danes Church, along Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill, will be lined by more than 700 armed services personnel. The services and units represented will be: Royal Navy and Royal Marines, F Company Scots Guards, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the Royal Air Force.

The procession will be led by the Band of the Royal Marines and will see the Union flag-draped coffin carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage from St Clement Danes to St Paul's.

Baroness Thatcher's funeral bearer party

As part of the procession , there will be 10 bearers - all members of the armed services - who will walk alongside the coffin.

Where possible, personnel have been chosen from ships, units and stations connected to those who served during the Falklands campaign.

The bearers have been taken from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Scots Guards, Welsh Guards, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Parachute Regiment, Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Royal Air Force.

The bearer party will be followed by an escort party made up of a further 10 members of the armed services.

Military bands

There will be three bands along the processional route, whose drums will be covered in black cloth. One of the bands will be the the Band of the Scots Guards of the Household Division, while the other two will be chosen from the Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force.

Gun Salute

The Honourable Artillery Company will fire a gun every minute, from Tower Wharf at the Tower of London, while the procession is taking place.

There will be no fly-past by the Royal Air Force. Baroness Thatcher requested that there shouldn't be one, reportedly concerned about the costs.

Steps of St Paul's

Outside St Paul's Cathedral there will be a Guard of Honour for the arrival of the coffin made up of members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the Welsh Guards Band.

Eighteen more service personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, the Blues and Royals, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and Royal Air Force will line the steps along with pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The guests

There are expected to be 2,300 guests filling St Paul's for the service, which is due to start at 11:00 BST.

Image caption FW de Klerk, the last white president of South Africa, has been invited

Those invited include family and friends of Baroness Thatcher, surviving members of her cabinets, former chiefs of staff and members of the current cabinet and opposition.

Current and former world leaders close to Baroness Thatcher have been personally invited alongside about 200 official representatives from states, territories and international organisations.

Amongst those known to be attending are the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, former President of South Africa, FW de Klerk, former cabinet member, Lord Carrington, former US Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate Dr Henry Kissinger, former Private Secretary to Lady Thatcher, Lord Powell of Bayswater KCMG OBE, Dame Shirley Bassey, Jeremy Clarkson, Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber, Lord and Lady Archer, US politician Newt Gingrich and classical singer Katherine Jenkins.

Full details can be found on the Downing Street website.

Those who were invited but unable to attend include Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former First Lady of the US Nancy Reagan.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The funeral service will be led by the Dean of St Paul's, The Very Reverend Dr David Ison. The Bishop of London Richard Chartres will give the sermon and the blessing will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The Order of Service shows that there will be two readings - one by Lady Thatcher's 19-year-old granddaughter Amanda - and the second by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Downing Street said Lady Thatcher wanted the service to be "framed" by British music and it will include compositions by Henry Purcell, Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

There will also be a selection of well-known hymns, including Charles Wesley's Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, reflecting the influence of Lady Thatcher's Methodist upbringing, as well as poems by Wordsworth and TS Eliot.

How much will it cost?

No official figure has been given for the estimated overall costs, although newspaper reports suggest it could be up to £10m.

Lady Thatcher's family is meeting an unspecified amount of the expense, thought to cover transport, flowers and the cremation, with the government funding the rest, including security.

A 2013 House of Commons note on state funerals details some of the costs of the Queen Mother's ceremonial funeral in 2002.

Policing costs were £4.3m, of which £2.3m were opportunity costs (costs that would be incurred anyway if staff were assigned to other operations). The cost to the Ministry of Defence was much less at £301,000.

Travel disruption

The funeral procession will mean road closures along and around the route as well as disruption to public transport.

Key road closures in place from 07:00 BST on 17 April:

Parliament Square, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, The Stand, Aldwych, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Blackfriars Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge (restricted access), Farringdon Road, Kingsway, Charing Cross Road, The Mall, Victoria Street, Millbank, St Pauls Churchyard, Cannon Street.

Key bus routes affected by diversions or cancellations from 6:00 BST:

1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 43, 45, 53, 59, 63, 68, 76, 87, 88, 91, 100, 133, 139, 141, 148, 159, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 211, 242, 243, 341, 381, 388, 453, 507, 521, C10.

Underground and trains:

All Tube, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground lines will be running as normal.

Barclays Cycle Hire ("Boris Bikes")

A number of Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations within the road closure area will be suspended all day.

Full travel details are available from Transport for London.


Baroness Thatcher's family has asked well-wishers to consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, rather than giving flowers.

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