A practice run for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral has taken place in London.
The mock procession made its way towards St Paul’s Cathedral from St Clement Danes, the church of the Royal Air Force.
The 19-minute dawn drill was rehearsed by 700 members of the armed forces involved in the ceremony for Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister.
Thatcher has been awarded a ceremony with full military honours, which is one rung down from a state funeral. Breaking with protocol, the Queen will be in attendance at the funeral for a Prime Minister for the first time since Winston Churchill’s ceremony in 1965.
The man choreographing the event was
on the lookout for glitches ahead of the procession on Wednesday. Major Andrew Chatburn, Household Division ceremonial staff officer said:
“We’ve got to be able to prove the route in case we have to do anything.”
He added that moving “street furniture, for example, timings, most important, we will learn something quite significant this morning about the timings.
Above all the event was held “to familiarise the troops with their duties, bearing in mind these are soldiers, sailors and airmen, who come in to do the specific task from their routine duty,” he concluded.
Thatcher died last Thursday of a stroke at 87-years-old. Following a string of ‘death parties’ held by anti-Thatcher groups across the UK, extra security has been called in for the funeral.
Police have drawn up the Operation True Blue security plan. They want to balance people’s right to protest and the right to pay their respects to the politician who divides opinion even from beyond the grave.