How Baroness Thatcher planned her own funeral and chose the hymn played at Princess Diana’s funeral ‘I Vow To Thee, My Country'Baroness believed to have begun preparations eight years agoThe service will be held at St Paul's Cathedral next Wednesday

Anna Edwards


01:04 GMT, 13 April 2013



08:40 GMT, 13 April 2013

Baroness Margaret Thatcher is believed to have begun plans for her funeral eight years ago

Baroness Margaret Thatcher is believed to have begun plans for her funeral eight years ago

Even from the grave, Baroness Thatcher has managed to rule how her own funeral will be conducted.

The former prime minister meticulously planned how the farewell service will run – from the singing to who gives the readings.

Baroness Thatcher is believed to have begun making arrangements eight years ago for the service, which will be held on Wednesday and will feature the hymn 'I Vow to Thee, My Country'.

Alongside the hymn, which was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, a poem by William Wordsworth will be read out as part of a service expected to reflect Baroness Thatcher's strong Christian faith.

She instructed whoever was Prime Minister at the time of her death, regardless of political affiliation, to deliver a reading.

David Cameron is expected to read a specific hymn, John 14.1, which says: 'Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.'

The 19-year-old granddaughter of the UK's first female prime minister will read another lesson from the King James Bible, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The funeral, to be held at St Paul's Cathedral, will also feature readings from the Book of Common Prayer, including one that says: 'Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live and is full of misery.'

She is understood to have begun preparations for her funeral nearly a decade ago, and it is understood St Paul's clerics visited Lady Thatcher in person about her wishes.

The funeral, which will be attended by the Queen, will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in London

The funeral, which will be attended by the Queen, will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in London

She was determined to have Wordsworth's
ode on immortality included, which reads: 'Thanks to the human heart by
which we live,/ Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears'.

Carol Thatcher returned to Britain on Friday to help with the preparations for her mother’s funeral.

Miss Thatcher, who lives in Klosters, Switzerland, arrived at her mother’s home in Belgravia shortly before 7pm.

She arrived in a black Jaguar accompanied by a casually dressed man believed to be her boyfriend Marco Grass.

A long list of celebrities, old friends and foes will join royalty and world leaders past and present to pay their last respects to Britain's greatest peacetime prime minister.


Carol Thatcher arrives back at her mother's house to help with the funeral arrangements, which her mother made years ago

Before the carefully planned service, MPs and peers will be able to pay their respects to Baroness Thatcher in Parliament's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft on the eve of her funeral.

The guest list drawn up by Lady Thatcher's family, with advice from Whitehall, includes all surviving former British prime ministers, all former US presidents and a representative of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Almost all of the world's current heads of state are being asked to attend or send representatives – a move which, along with the highly unusual presence of the Queen, effectively elevates it to a state occasion.

A multi-million pound security operation for Baroness Thatcher's funeral was tonight being planned by police, as fears grew that next Wednesday's occasion could be disrupted by protesters.

Officers will line the entire route from Westminster to St Paul's Cathedral to prevent disorder from a minority who have been celebrating the death of Britain's first and only female prime minister.

The 8million ceremonial funeral, with full military honours, will start in the capital at 11am.


Even her detractors would concede that Baroness Thatcher was a woman who knew her own mind, a quality demonstrated by the fact that she left detailed instructions for her own funeral service.

The patriotic verses of I Vow To Thee, My Country, will ring out in St Paul's Cathedral next Wednesday as per the former prime minister's specific request.

She also selected hymns To Be A Pilgrim and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, and asked that lines from poet William Wordsworth's ode on immortality be read out.

Baroness Thatcher also instructed that the serving prime minister at the time of her death should read a letter from the Gospels, and as such David Cameron is expected to deliver the passage John 14:1.

The Tory icon's 19-year-old granddaughter Amanda – who lives in the U.S. with her mother Diane Beckett, ex-wife of Sir Mark Thatcher – is also expected to deliver a reading at the ceremonial funeral next week.