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This was the message the Queen sent when Margaret Thatcher passed away…

The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.”

This was an interesting statement. Instead of issuing public condolences the queen was moved enough to send private condolences to the family. Also, it is well-known that the queen doesn’t attend funerals unless they are members of her close family. She has only attended the funeral of one other of her Prime Ministers, Winston Churchill, in 1965. She has gone to only one royal funeral that I can think of, and that was the funeral of King Baudouin of Belgium in 1993.  Today’s attendance by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at the funeral of Baroness Thatcher was a rare and special occasion.

The relationship between the sovereign and his or her Prime Minister is a special and private relationship. In that relationship the monarch is free to participate in their constitutional duty to advise, warn and counsel their Prime Minister. Given that the relationship is private there has been much speculation about the relationship between Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister. As a Conservative Thatcher was a staunch royalist, but because they had such different personalities there were rumors that the two of them often clashed. Those remain rumors and never have been confirmed or denied. It does seem that the queen did have a deep respect for Mrs. Thatcher. Very shortly after Mrs. Thatcher left office in 1990 the queen bestowed upon her the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit.  Her majesty does not often grant awards swiftly in her capacity as the font of all honors. Her awarding these symbols of chivalry does signal that her majesty did indeed have a deep respect for Baroness Thatcher.

One last minor rant from me before I end this topic. There are some people who just do not understand the British political system. When Thatcher was in power, and even after her death, she was often called the first female ruler of either England or the United Kingdom. That is not accurate. She was the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom but prior to that England, Scotland and the United Kingdom were ruled by a Queen (a woman) long before the office of Prime Minister had been created.

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