Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died of a stroke at the age of 87. The news was broken by a family spokesperson.
“It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning,” said Lord Tim Bell.
The British government has said a ceremonial funeral with military honours would be held for Thatcher at London’s St. Paul cathedral, although no date was given. Her family had expressed a wish for no state funeral to be held.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We have lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton.”
Cameron’s office said he was cutting short a visit to several European countries to return to London because of Thatcher’s death.
Queen Elizabeth said she was sad to hear the news of Thatcher’s death and sent a message of sympathy to her family.
Britain’s only woman prime minister, the tough, outspoken Thatcher, led the Conservatives to three election victories, governing from 1979 to 1990, the longest continuous period in office by a British prime minister since the early 19th century.
Former Polish president and Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa also paid tribute to what he called a “great personality who contributed to the fall of communism in Poland and eastern Europe along with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and the Solidarity Union,” adding “I pray for her.”