A CONSERVATIVE councillor from Henley says the funeral of Baroness Thatcher in London on Wednesday was reminiscent of Princess Diana’s
A CONSERVATIVE councillor from Henley says the funeral of Baroness Thatcher in London on Wednesday was reminiscent of Princess Diana’s final ceremony.
Will Hamilton was among spectators from all over the world at St Clement Danes, the church of the RAF, on the Strand where the coffin of the former prime minister was loaded on to a gun carriage.
“I had a good view,” he said. “I got there an hour before the procession started and I was in the third row of people. People had come from Birmingham, Newcastle, Australia and America and they were all very friendly. Lots of people had taken the day off.”
Mr Hamilton, a Henley town councillor, said that once the gun carriage was on its way, the crowd started clapping and the same reaction followed the procession all the way to St Paul’s Cathedral.
He said: “At first everything was silent. Then as she arrived there was quiet clapping — there was no boos whatsoever. It was very sombre but people were very pleased to be there.
“I heard there were one or two dissidents at Ludgate Circus where they were a couple of boos when the gun carriage arrived but the biggest boo was when Tony Blair arrived. The huge majority of the crowd were appreciative.
“I thought the service was moving and it was reminiscent of Princess Diana’s funeral.This was a big occasion and it was good to see as it is a part of history.”
In the build-up to the funeral there had been rumours of violent protests and also tension following the bombings of Boston on Sunday.
Mr Hamilton said there was a big security operation to make sure that the funeral passed without any incident.
“I have never seen so many police,” he said. “They were all dressed smartly with white gloves and were lining the streets. Beforehand they made sure that no stone was left unturned. They were checking behind statues and everything and then as the crowds began to form the barriers were put up.”