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More than 2,000 people invited to Thatcher funeral


08:12, April 12, 2013

LONDON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- More than 2000 people have been invited to attend the ceremonial funeral for former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher next Wednesday, according to an initial list released by Downing Street on Thursday.

Downing Street said more than 2,000 invitations will be sent out to people of various circles including cultural and press figures.

People on the list include all surviving former prime ministers of Britain and former U.S. presidents, along with Hillary Clinton. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have already been confirmed for the ceremony.

Family, friends, colleagues and aides of Thatcher during her time in power have all been invited to the ceremony, where she will also be given full military honors.

Current cabinet members and Labour leader Ed Miliband are also invited.

But some VIP figures in Thatcher's era, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, ex-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's widow Nancy, will not attend the funeral because of ill health.

Invitations are also being sent to former Press Secretary Sir Bernard Ingham, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, author Frederick Forsyth and a representative of Nelson Mandela.

Thatcher's funeral will take place at St Paul's Cathedral in London on April 17. It is reportedly the first funeral of a British politician attended by the Queen since that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister and longest serving prime minister of the 20th century, died on Monday aged 87 after suffering a stroke. She had suffered dementia for more than a decade.

Security for the funeral is likely to be extremely tight with fears of disruption by Irish republican dissidents and far-left groups, according to local media.

Concerns about potential violence rose after trouble erupted at several street parties celebrating her death on Monday night in London, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow.

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