Thatcher would be 'humbled' by queen attending funeral: son

11th April 2013, Comments 0 comments

Margaret Thatcher's son Mark said Wednesday that his mother would have been "greatly honoured" by the presence of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at her funeral next week.

In the first reaction from the family, Mark Thatcher said they had been "overwhelmed" by the messages of support they have received since the former British prime minister died on Monday.

"I would like to say how enormously proud and grateful we are that Her Majesty has agreed to attend the service next week in St Paul's," the 59-year-old said outside the Thatcher home in central London.

"And I know my mother would be greatly honoured as well as humbled by her presence."

Britain's prime minister from 1979 to 1990, Margaret Thatcher died on Monday following a stroke. She was 87.

Both Thatcher's children -- Mark and his twin sister Carol -- were abroad when their mother died.

"By any measure, my mother was blessed with a long life and very full one," her son said.

However inevitable the conclusion may have been of her recent illness, "it is no easier for us to bear in what is, without doubt, a very sad moment."

Flowers and tributes have been left outside the house, as well as at Downing Street, in parliament, and at places associated with the political titan, such as her birthplace, her constituency, and at the street named after her in the Falkland Islands.

"We have quite simply been overwhelmed by messages of support, condolence, of every type from far and wide and I know that my mother would be pleased they have come from people of all walks of life," said Mark Thatcher.

"These messages often convey personal stories and vignettes of part of the journey of my mother's life and we are all enormously grateful for the warmth that these messages convey.

"They will be a source of encouragement and strength as we face the inevitable days ahead and for that I am most grateful."

She will have a ceremonial funeral with full military honours -- a step below a full state funeral, in accordance with her wishes -- next Wednesday at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Queen Elizabeth has not attended the funeral of one of her prime ministers since the state funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965, also held at St Paul's.

© 2013 AFP

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