Margaret Thatcher: 'Iron Lady' who changed Britain
London: Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, who died on Monday aged 87, will be remembered as "The Iron Lady" who helped end the Cold War and whose economic reforms divided the country. Behind the bouffant hair, trademark handbag and schoolma'am voice was an uncompromising Conservative who regularly cut her male colleagues and opponents down to size with a sharp tongue and even sharper political brain.
Right-wingers hailed her as having hauled Britain out of the economic doldrums but the left accused her of dismantling traditional industry, claiming her reforms helped unpick the fabric of society. On the world stage, she built a close "special relationship" with US president Ronald Reagan which helped bring the curtain down on Soviet Communism. She also fiercely opposed closer ties with Europe.
But in the final years of her life, Thatcher - the 20th century's longest continuous occupant of 10 Downing Street, from 1979 to 1990 - cut a subdued figure.
After a series of minor strokes, she was told by doctors to quit public speaking in 2002 and, as dementia took hold, she appeared increasingly rarely in public.
Her daughter Carol revealed the former premier had to be repeatedly reminded that her husband Denis had died in 2003. Meryl Streep portrayed both her rise to power and her period of failing health in the Hollywood film "The Iron Lady", which hit the screens in December 2011.
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Date 03-12-13, Duration 0:57, Views 335