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Stars, royals and politicians turn out for Margaret Thatcher's funeral
Famous faces from the world of showbusiness mixed with royalty and politicians from across the world in London on Wednesday morning (17Apr13) at the ceremonial funeral of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The veteran politician, who passed away on 8 April (13) at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, was remembered during a high-profile memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral in the British capital attended by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as well as Britain's current Prime Minister David Cameron. Star guests included Dame Shirley Bassey, actress Joan Collins, entertainer Michael Crawford, Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins and theatre mogul Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. Former U.K. Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major turned out for the occasion, along with former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. Before the service at the famed cathedral, Thatcher's coffin passed through the streets of London on a gun carriage with a full military procession. Thousands of spectators gathered to watch, and more than 4,000 police officers were deployed as part of strict security measures amid the threat of protests over Thatcher's policies, which continue to divide opinion 23 years after she left office. Demonstrations along the route of the funeral procession remained mostly peaceful, with campaigners booing and turning their backs on the coffin to show their opinion. Singer Jenkins addressed the threat of protests in a post on her Twitter.com page before she arrived at the funeral, writing, "For me today is personal not political," while musician Billy Bragg urged campaigners to donate to a good cause instead of disrupting the service, adding, "If you wish to express your feelings about the divisive nature of the Thatcher legacy today, do something positive... Donthatedonate.com."
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