News story

Armed Forces' role in funeral of Lady Thatcher

More than 700 Armed Forces personnel were involved in the funeral of Lady Margaret Thatcher which took place in central London.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The bearer party, consisting of 10 tri-Service personnel, carries Lady Thatcher's coffin into St Paul's Cathedral [Picture: Sergeant Adrian Harlen, Crown copyright]
The bearer party carries Lady Thatcher's coffin into St Paul's Cathedral

The coffin was borne in procession from St Clement Danes Church (the church of the Royal Air Force) to St Paul’s Cathedral on the gun carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery used for ceremonial funerals.

The short service held at St Clement Danes Church
The short service held at St Clement Danes Church in the Strand [Picture: Harland Quarrington, Crown copyright]

The bearer party, consisting of 10 tri-Service personnel, followed the coffin in the procession to the cathedral. The members of the bearer party were taken from the Royal Navy/Royal Marines, Scots Guards, Welsh Guards, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Parachute Regiment, Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Royal Air Force.

Where possible, personnel were chosen from ships, units and stations connected to those who served during the Falklands Campaign. They were supported by an Army officer and a Warrant Officer.

Lady Thatcher's funeral cortege
Lady Thatcher's funeral cortege passes the gates of Downing Street [Picture: Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC, Crown copyright]

The processional route from St Clement Danes Church to St Paul’s Cathedral was lined by personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, F Company of the Scots Guards, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the Royal Air Force.

Bands from all 3 Services were positioned alongside the street-liners along the processional route. These were a band of the Royal Marines, the Band of the Scots Guards and a band of the Royal Air Force.

The coffin arrives at St Paul's Cathedral
The step-lining party at St Paul's awaits the arrival of the coffin on the gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery [Picture: Sergeant Adrian Harlen, Crown copyright]

Outside St Paul’s Cathedral a Guard of Honour formed of members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, together with the Band of the Welsh Guards, awaited the arrival of the coffin.

A step-lining party, comprising 18 Service personnel (6 Royal Navy/Royal Marines/Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 6 members of the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry, and 6 Royal Air Force), plus in-pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, lined the steps of St Paul’s for the arrival of the coffin.

Members of the Honourable Artillery Company
Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fire 1 round per minute at the Tower of London [Picture: Sergeant Russ Nolan RLC, Crown copyright]

While the coffin was en route to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Honourable Artillery Company fired processional minute guns from Tower Wharf, Tower of London.

Published 17 April 2013