Thatcher funeral arrangements published

Readings will include TS Eliot and Wordsworth

Mark Thatcher speaks to the press outside the home of former British Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher  in London last week. Photograph: Gerry

Mark Thatcher speaks to the press outside the home of former British Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher in London last week. Photograph: Gerry

Sun, Apr 14, 2013, 08:28

A single, half-muffled bell will toll as the funeral cortege draws up to St Paul’s.

Fourteen Chelsea Pensioners will line the steps as the coffin is borne aloft into the cathedral.

In front of the coffin, Michael and Amanda Thatcher, grandchildren of the former prime minister, will carry cushions bearing the insignia of the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit and lay them on the Dome Altar.

At the foot of the lectern there will be two modest arrangements of white lilies and greenery. Flowers will ring the candle.

Further details of the arrangements for Baroness Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday were released today by Downing Street.

The service will be “framed” by British music, with traditional pieces by great British composers played at the beginning and at the end.

Her love of poetry is reflected in her choice of TS Eliot’s Little Gidding, which will be printed on the opening page of the Order of Service and William Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of Immortality on the final page.

British prime minister David Cameron and Amanda Thatcher will deliver the readings from the King James Bible - of which she was particularly fond.

It was confirmed that the hymns will be He Who Would Valiant Be, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, Psalm 84 set to the music of Johannes Brahms, and the patriotic verse I Vow To Thee My Country.

The funeral address will be delivered by the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres.

The presence of the Chelsea Pensioners - the oldest aged 90- reflects the strong connection Lady Thatcher built up with the Royal Hospital Chelsea over the last 10 years.

Her family has asked that, if people wish to pay their respects, they consider making a donation to the Royal Hospital Chelsea rather than laying flowers.

PA