Thatcher funeral set for next Wednesday

The funeral of Margaret Thatcher will be held next Wednesday at St Paul's Cathedral, Downing Street has confirmed.

In line with her own wishes, she will be given a ceremonial funeral with full military honours – the same arrangement employed following the death of the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.

"I think she should have the highest kind of funeral that can be allowed. I would have thought a state funeral would be very appropriate," Tory MP Peter Bone said.

"She was the first female prime minister. She was also the greatest peacetime prime minister we ever had."

The Queen took the unusual step of personally deciding to attend the funeral, giving the event an air of a state funeral in all but name.

Members of the public will not be allowed to attend the St Paul's service but they can line the route to the cathedral.

On the day before the funeral, the coffin will be moved to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster. There will be a short service following its arrival before the coffin rests in the chapel overnight.

On the day itself, the streets will be cleared of traffic and the coffin will travel by hearse from the chapel to the Church of St Clement Danes, the RAF Chapel, on the Strand.

At the church, the coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery. The coffin will then be borne in procession from St Clement Danes to St Paul’s Cathedral. The route will be lined by tri-service military personnel.

The coffin will be met at St Paul's Cathedral by a guard of honour. Tri-service personnel and pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea will line the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The coffin will be borne into and out of the cathedral by a tri-service bearer party.

The guest list for St Paul's will include family and friends of Thatcher, those who worked with her over the years, including members of her Cabinets when she was prime minister, and representatives from a range of groups she was associated with.

The prime minister and deputy prime minister will attend and the Cabinet and shadow Cabinet will be invited.

Flags will be flown at half mast at Downing Street today and will be again on the day of the funeral.

Members of the public who wish to buy flowers for the former prime minister are being asked to donate to Royal Hospital Chelsea instead.

The No10 website will have a condolence page on which people will be able to write private messages for the Thatcher family.