Buckingham Palace has confirmed this morning The Queen be in attendance at the funeral of Baroness Thatcher. There was some uncertainty whether Her Majesty would attend, and last night Buckingham Palace had said a decision was awaiting information.
It is a precedent as it is the first ceremonial funeral for a former British Prime Minister The Queen has ever attended.
Although, Her Majesty did attend the state funeral of Winston Churchill.
While The Queen, and The Duke of Edinburgh are to attend, Clarence House has confirmed there are no plans for other members of the Royal Family to attend at this time.
The Queen will be acting in her capacity as the head of state.
Baroness Thatcher will be given a Ceremonial Funeral, unlike a state funeral which is mostly reserved for Monarchs. Both, The Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales received Ceremonial funerals.
There is little difference between the two, although the main distinction between a state and ceremonial funeral is that the state funeral requires an act of parliament.
The only visible difference between a ceremonial and state funeral is that during a state funeral, the gun carriage is pulled by sailors from the Royal Navy and during a ceremonial funeral it is pulled by horses. This is because during Queen Victoria’s funeral, the horses became restless and Sailors from the Navy had to step in to pull the gun carriage.
Prior to her death, there was speculation Baroness Thatcher would be afforded a full state funeral, though it has now been confirmed that, with The Queen’s consent, Baroness Thatcher will be accorded a ceremonial funeral with full military honours.
Margaret Thatcher specifically did not want a full state funeral, her spokesman Lord Bell said.
Lord Bell has also confirmed that she requested that she did not get a fly past by military aircraft as it would be a “waste of money”.
“She specifically did not want a state funeral and nor did her family. She particularly did not wish to lie in state as she thought that was not appropriate,” he said.
The funeral will take place next Wednesday in London.