Margaret Thatcher dies

The death of former British Prime Minister came as a shock not only to the entire nation whom she loved and whose interest she protected, but also to the Queen whom she revered and loyally served.

The Press Secretary to the Queen issued this statement:
“The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.”
While the Prince of Wales’ household writes:
“The Prince of Wales was saddened to learn of the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher.”

The Baroness Thatcher passed away April 8 after suffering a stroke. Dubbed as the “most competent British Prime Minister” since the 1980s, and perhaps, after Sir Winston Churchill, Thatcher was also hailed as one of the best political leaders of her generation and in the entire history of the British political system.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher served as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister from 1979 until 1990 and as Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to ever to hold the office. Dubbed as the "Iron Lady", Thatcher earned the praise of her colleagues and rebuke of her critics for her no-nonsense attitude, uncompromising stand and dignified leadership style, thus, her policies had been labeled as “Thatcherism.”

Thatcher trained as a research chemist before becoming a barrister. In 1959, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Finchley and in 1970, was appointed to the cabinet of Prime Minister Edward Heath as Secretary of State for Education and Science.

In 1975 Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election. She became the first female leader of one of the biggest political parties in UK and eventually of the Opposition. In 1979, she was elected Prime Minister after the general election.

Thatcher immediately implemented a slew of political and economic reforms that she aimed to reverse what she perceived to be Britain's steady national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies targeted in deregulating the financial sector, flexible labor markets, denationalizing state-owned companies, and curtailing the power of trade unions.

Thatcher was unpopular in the early years of her premiership mainly due to economic recessions and high unemployment after severe government cost-cutting. By 1982, economic recovery and Britain’s triumph over Argentina in the Falklands War bolstered her image, resulting to her re-election in 1983. She was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but the introduction of "poll tax" and her dissident views on the European Community put a toll on her popularity within her own party. In November 1990, she resigned as Prime Minister after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.

In 1992, Thatcher was ennobled as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, a life peerage which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords.

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