Margaret Thatcher Dies

Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died of a stroke in London on 8 April 2013 at the age of 87.

A ceremonial funeral, planning for which began in 2009 while Thatcher was still alive, was held on 17 April. Due to the polarised view of her achievements and legacy, the reception to her death was mixed. The funeral, including a formal procession through Central London followed by a church service at St Paul's Cathedral, cost some £3.6 million including £3.1 million for security. Her body was cremated at Mortlake Crematorium, and her ashes were buried alongside those of her husband Denis at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London on 28 September 2013.

Thatcher suffered several small strokes in 2002 and was advised by her doctors not to engage in any more public speaking. On 23 March, she announced the cancellation of her planned speaking engagements and that she would accept no more. But despite her illness, she pre-recorded a eulogy for the funeral of Ronald Reagan in June 2004, and attended her 80th birthday celebration in 2005 with the Queen and 650 other guests in attendance. However, her health continued to decline as the decade went on; she was briefly hospitalised in 2008 after feeling unwell during a dinner, and again after falling and fracturing her arm in 2009. Carol Thatcher spoke to the press of her mother's struggle with dementia.

Thatcher died at approximately 11:00 BST (10:00 UTC) on 8 April 2013 at The Ritz Hotel in London after suffering a stroke. She had been staying in a suite there since December 2012, after having difficulty using the stairs at her Chester Square home. She was invited to stay at the Ritz by its owners David and Frederick Barclay, who were long-time supporters. Lord Bell, Thatcher's spokesman, confirmed her death to the Press Association, who issued the first wire report to newsrooms at 12:47 BST (11:47 UTC). The Union Flag was flown at half-mast at Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, Parliament and other palaces, and flowers were laid outside her home.