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Thatcher's coffin laid below the dome of St Paul's

PUBLISHED: 11:18 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:18 17 April 2013

The Queen and Prince Philip stand near the coffin

The Queen and Prince Philip stand near the coffin

Archant

Tens of thousands of people gathered outside St Paul's Cathedral to watch as the Union Jack-draped coffin of Baroness Thatcher was carried inside.

The service has now begun, with the coffin placed directly below the dome of St Paul’s and the Lord’s Prayer read out.

Baroness Thatcher, who was Britain’s first female Prime Minister and first stood for a parliamentary seat in Dartford, died from a stroke on March 8.

South-east London and Kent MPs James Brokenshire, Gareth Johnson, David Evennett and Bob Stewart have all said they will be at the funeral but not everyone is using today to pay their respects.

Protests have been planned, although organisers have had to get the permission of the Metropolitan police.

As the military procession began down Ludgate Hill, spectators rushed to get a better look, including Channel 4 anchor John Snow.

He said: “This is a big event, a moment in history for our country, although it’s obviously very controversial.

“More people go and watch Man United and Spurs than this every week though, but that’s life.”

But not everyone is mourning the death. Raymond Charles Dell, 70, from Walthamstow, said he is happy she is dead.

He said: “I’d spit on her grave if I could find it.

“Her policies like destroying the miner’s union and the Falklands destroyed lives and cost billions of pounds.

“She was a fascist and I don’t understand why there’s such a fanfare now she’s dead.”

Eric Liddey, an American who lives in Hampstead, added: “I hated Thatcher because she was a war mongerer and tried to bring back the British Empire.

“She did nothing for the working classes and they’re the majority.”

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