Former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher died at the age of 87 on Monday after suffering a stroke following several months of ill health, Britain’s prime minister said.
“It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton,” Prime Minister David Cameron said via his Twitter page.
“She didn’t just lead our country; she saved our country,” he added.
“Her legacy will be the fact she served her country so well, she saved our country and that she showed immense courage in doing so and people will be learning about what she did and her achievements in decades, probably centuries to come.”
Mr. Cameron was in Spain when the news broke and immediately cut short his trip.
Both Downing Street—the home of the British prime minister and Buckingham Palace—the Queen’s residence—are flying their flags at half mast in remembrance the iron lady.
“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,” a statement on the British Monarchy’s website said.
Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper said the world had lost a giant among leaders in a statement issued Monday.
“With the passing of Baroness Thatcher, the world has lost a giant among leaders,” said Mr. Harper.
“While many in positions of power are defined by the times in which they govern, Margaret Thatcher had that rarest of abilities to herself personify and define the age in which she served. Indeed, with the success of her economic policies, she defined contemporary conservatism itself,” he added.
U.S. President Barack Obama said America had “lost a true friend.”
“With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.
Thatcher was Britain’s longest-serving prime minister and the first female to hold the post.
Downing Street said Monday that the fallen leader will be offered a ceremonial funeral [one short of a state funeral] and when consulted prior to her death, Baroness Thatcher said she did not wish to lie in state.
Her surviving family are asking members of the public who want to mark her death to make a donation to the Royal Hospital at Chelsea.
Following are some quick facts about The Baroness Thatcher:
- Survived by two children, Carol and Mark.
- Awarded Medal of Freedom—highest civilian honour in the US—in 1991.
- Has had her title changed eight times, most currently being The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Thatcher LG, OM, PC, FRS.
- Celebrities reacted to her death on Twitter.
Peter Paul has been a Toronto and International Headlines Examiner for tapeunit.com since 2009. Connect with him on Twitter @PeterPaulX or join his Examiner Facebook fan page.