Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral

John Loughrie, fan of Margaret Thatcher on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Love her or loathe her, the funeral of Baroness Thatcher was an extraordinary occasion.  The streets were packed with thousands of people who gathered to watch her final journey from the Houses of Parliament to St Clement Dane’s and on to St Paul’s Cathedral for the service attended by over 2000 people.   Joint military forces lined the route and accompanied the coffin for the biggest funeral for a political leader since Winston Churchill.  HRH The Queen even broke with Royal Protocol to attend the event with The Duke of Edinburgh.

Dress code was ‘Full day ceremonial without swords’ (except for Roger Gifford, The Lord Mayor of London who entered the Cathedral carrying a ceremonial mourning sword dating from the 1500s – a big day for our Lord Mayor!).  ‘Morning dress or dark suit’ for the men and for the ladies ‘day dress with hat’.  David Cameron still making a point of not being seen in tails and his wife Samantha wore a hat!

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

St Paul’s Cathedral.

Crowds lined the street, people poured out of their offices and I found myself watching the latecomers enter the cathedral from Paternoster Square leaving the ‘money shots’ to the press photographers.  Joan Collins OBE (nearly 80!), Sir David Frost, Kt. OBE, Sir Norman Foster OM, ‘captains of industry’, ageing politicians once so familiar, Rolls Royces, bear skins, Chelsea Pensioners,  bands playing, bells ringing… and the ‘after party’ back at the Guildhall.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Vantage points on roofs and security barriers.

Band of the Welsh Guards.

The Band of the Welsh Guards.

The Royal Navy representing the ships deployed to The Falklands.

The Royal Navy representing the ships deployed to The Falklands.

The Royal Marines.

The muffled drums of The Royal Marines.

The Welsh Guards.

The Welsh Guards (note 5 buttons on the uniform).

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

The Royal Navy.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Protestors making a stand by turning their back to the procession – wearing red ribbon to indicate that they are not mourning the passing of Baroness Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Security barrier providing another vantage point.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Border terrier. Shoes to the left belonging to a Falklands veteran.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Members of the public watching the congregation leaving St Paul’s from the side entrance. Everyone’s a photographer!

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Parliamentary staff. Clerk of the House of The House of Commons Sir Robert James Rogers (also an organist), The Lord Speaker Baroness de Souza and Clerk of the Parliaments David Beamish (became Clerk in the House of Lords in 1974).

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Falklands tie.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher was a great supporter of The Chelsea Pensioners who formed a funeral guard of honour on the steps of St Paul’s.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Guests including Sir Terry Wogan KBE, DL and Lord Lloyd Webber Kt exit the Cathedral.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Top hats optional with morning dress.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Lord Hestletine , CH, PC who served in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet for seven years. He is now 80 years old.

Paddy Ashdown greeting the crowds.

Former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Paddy Ashdown KCMG, KBE, PC greeting the crowds.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Banner reads ‘Margaret Thatcher. She put the Great back into Britain’.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

‘Section 28. Shame on You’, referring to a controversial amendment to the 1986 government act stating that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

‘Save the Children’

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

‘I Love Maggie’ sweatshirt.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

After the service, funeral goers repaired to The Guildhall for a reception to honour her memory.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

The Guildhall, home of the City of London.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Guests leaving the Guildhall reception (background car belongs to the Mayor of Westminster).

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Gerald Ronson CBE (business tycoon and philanthropist) and wife, Dame Gail Ronson.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP and wife Lucia leaving the Guildhall. Jeremy is apparently very keen on dancing the lambada.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Lord Black, PC, OC, KSCG (former newspaper publisher, author), and Barbara Amiel.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Dorothy Hughes, 85 (the first lady to be admitted as a Chelsea Pensioner in 2009) formed part of the guard of honour for the service at St Paul’s.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Lady Mayor of Grantham. Went to the same school as Baroness Thatcher. The Grantham Museum which is normally shut on Wednesdays opened its door for a screening of the funeral.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers outside The Guildhall.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

About turn for the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers as they head back to the Honourable Artillery Company.

Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Check the Musketeer on the right…

Margaret Thatcher FuneralMargaret Thatcher FuneralMargaret Thatcher Funeral

Advertisements

Purim in Stamford Hill


Family crosses the road bearing a gift of food wrapped in customary cellophane.

The Haredi Jews of Stamford Hill are normally a sober bunch.  Once a year however on the festival of Purim they take to the streets in fancy dress, crank up the sound systems and party in carnival style.  Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination from a massacre by Haman due to the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.

Adults of legal age are actively encouraged to get intoxicated, specifically to the point that they can’t tell the difference between the words “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai”.  Purim is celebrated not only with drinking, feasting and dancing but the offering of gifts and collection of money for charity.  Not a policeman in sight.

Colonel Gaddafi

The Haredi – strictly-Orthodox Jews (Haredi meaning ‘fearful’) who trace their ancestry to 18th-century Eastern Europe – are one of the most close-knit, insular and private communities in Britain. More than 20,000 live in Stamford Hill, in north-east London.  Yiddish is the main language. Contact with the secular society is generally avoided, television and secular newspapers are banned and religious study is a major part of their lives.  The mingling of sexes is strictly regulated and it is not unusual for families to have up to 10 children who all attend single sex Jewish schools (all but one is private).  The women dress in dark coats, long skirts and once married wigs are obligatory.  As often seen on the sabbath the men dress in frock coats, long silk gowns (bekishes), flamboyant fur hat (shtreimel), white stockings and slip on shoes.

Further images can be seen in the following slideshow.

http://rubyslippersphoto.com/purim2012/index.html

All images copyright Fiona Campbell.  Images may not be used without permission.