Mandela Invited To Thatcher’s Funeral
The guest list which includes, Hilary Clinton, Tony Blair, Jeremy Clarkson, FW de Klerk, Jeffrey Archer, Shirley Bassey, Prime Ministers, all surviving former US presidents, representative of South African President Nelson Mandela have been drawn up by thr Thatcher’s family, with the help from the government and conservative party.
Downing Street, the residence and headquarters of the late Lady said the invitations were being printed on Thursday and would be sent out on Friday by first-class post.
A No 10, residence spokeswoman said: “Those invited include family and friends of Lady Thatcher, those who worked with her over the years, including all surviving members of her cabinets, former chiefs of staff, Conservative associates, peers and MPs, members of the cabinet, peers and MPs, members of the Order of the Garter, members of the Order of Merit, foreign associates and dignitaries and representatives from the wide range of groups she was associated with.”
She said 200 states, territories and international organizations would be invited to send a representative to the service.
“We have invited those countries and institutions with whom we have normal diplomatic relations,” she said. “In addition, there are invitations being made in a personal capacity to some current and former world leaders as well as others from overseas who had a close connection to Baroness Thatcher.”
Downing Street said that among those who had confirmed their attendance were: Tony and Cherie Blair; FW de Klerk; Dame Shirley Bassey; Jeremy Clarkson; Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber; Lord and Lady Archer, and Lord Carrington.
Neither the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, famously described by Thatcher as a man “we could do business with”, nor Nancy Reagan, widow of the later prime minister’s adored US ally President Ronald Reagan, will be there, for health reasons.
Gorbachev, who paid tribute to Thatcher as a “heavyweight politician and a striking person” following her death on Monday, was widely rumored to be one of many global figures coming to London.
On Wednesday night Nancy Reagan’s spokeswoman said that although she was “heartbroken” over Thatcher’s death, she was also too unwell to attend and had asked the chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation to represent her.
Thatcher’s old Commons foe Lord Kinnock said he could not attend as he would be at a friend’s funeral in Wales. However, another political adversary, albeit one from her own party, will be there: Lord Heseltine, who effectively forced Lady Thatcher out of office by mounting a leadership challenge in 1990, will be attending with his wife, according to his office.
Downing Street said Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had not been invited to the funeral, but the country’s ambassador to the UK had been asked to attend.
No 10 said the guest list had been approved by the Thatcher family. In a nod to the military presence at the funeral, the dress code gives guests the option of “full day ceremonial without swords”, as well as “morning dress (black waistcoat and black tie)”, “dark suit” or “day dress with hat”.
Invitations to the event will be colour-coded: those classed as VIPs will be given a white invitation and ushered to seats in the dome of the cathedral, while invitations with a red or green stripe will designate port or starboard seats. All others will vary by colour according to where the guest is sitting.
St Paul’s has a capacity of 2,300 people and is expected to be full for the occasion. The doors of the cathedral will open at 9am and guest are asked to be seated an hour before the service begins at 11am.
The guest list
More than 2,000 invitations to attend the funeral of Baroness Thatcher are being issued. The invitees include:
• All surviving former prime ministers.
• All surviving former US presidents and a Reagan family representative.
• The former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
• All surviving members of Thatcher’s cabinets.
• The current cabinet.
• The leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband.
• The European commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso.
• Thatcher’s former press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham and his wife, Lady Ingham.
• The novelist Frederick Forsyth.
• The former prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad.
• A representative of Nelson Mandela.
Some of those who have confirmed their attendance include:
• The former cabinet minister Michael Portillo and his wife, Carolyn.
• Tony and Cherie Blair.
• The former president of South Africa FW de Klerk.
• Dame Shirley Bassey.
• Jeremy Clarkson.
• Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber.
• Lord and Lady Archer.
• Thatcher’s former foreign policy adviser Lord Powell of Bayswater.
• The former foreign secretary Lord Carrington.
• The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.
• The former prime minister of Canada Brian Mulroney