Britain has decided not to invite Argentine President Cristina Kirchner to the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Downing Street said on Thursday. The decision follows on a special request from the Thatcher family.However Ambassdor Alicia Castro will be invited since according to diplomatic protocol Britain has normal relations with the UK, and it is a state to state issue.
The UK government is still finalizing the list of foreign dignitaries who will receive invitations to the ceremonial funeral next Wednesday of the Iron Lady, who successfully led Britain into a war to expel Argentine forces that invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982.
Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street office said that some current world leaders would be invited, but Cristina Fernandez, who has led a fiery campaign to push Buenos Aires' sovereignty claims over the Falklands, was not among them.
I can confirm that, yes a Downing Street spokesman said when asked if the British government had decided not to invite Cristina Fernandez as had been advanced by some London media.
British armed forces personnel from units associated with the 1982 Falklands war, regarded by many Britons as Thatcher's finest hour, will carry her coffin at her funeral in St Paul's Cathedral in London.
Around 200 states, territories and international organisations are invited to send an official representative to the funeral service of Lady Thatcher. The invitations to the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher at St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday 17 April will start being dispatched on Friday said Downing Street.
The guest list has been drawn up by Lady Thatcher’s family and representatives with the assistance of the Government and the Conservative party. It is expected that over 2,000 invitations will be sent out.
The doors of St Paul’s Cathedral will open at 9am. Guests are asked to be seated by 10am with the service due to commence at 11am.
Those invited include family and friends of Lady Thatcher, those who worked with her over the years, including all surviving members of her Cabinets, former Chiefs of Staff, Conservative associates, Peers and MPs, members of the Cabinet, Peers and MPs, Members of the Order of the Garter, Members of the Order of Merit, foreign associates and dignitaries and representatives from the wide range of groups she was associated with.
In agreement with Lady Thatcher’s representatives, around 200 states, territories and international organisations are being invited to send an official representative to the funeral service.
“We have invited those countries and institutions with whom we have normal diplomatic relations. In addition, there are invitations being made in a personal capacity to some current and former world leaders as well as others from overseas that had a close connection to Baroness Thatcher”, says the press notice.
St Paul’s has a capacity of 2,300 and is expected to be full on the day. Invitees include: all surviving former prime ministers; all surviving former US Presidents and a Reagan family representative; Hillary Clinton; all surviving members of Lady Thatcher’s Cabinets; the current Cabinet; the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition; President Jose Manuel Barroso; Sir Bernard and Lady Ingham; Fredrick Forsyth CBE; Former Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia and a representative of Nelson Mandela
Some of those attending include: Mr & Mrs Michael Portillo; Tony & Cherie Blair; F.W. de Klerk; Dame Shirley Bassey DBE; Jeremy Clarkson; Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber; Lord and Lady Archer; Lord Powell of Bayswater KCMG OBE; Lord Carrington; Prime Minister Harper of Canada and former Prime Minister Brian Mulrooney of Canada.
The family has approved the guest list and the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office are assisting Lady Thatcher’s office in the process of sending out the invitations. They have been contacting guests directly over the last couple of days to let them know that they are on the list. Invitations will be dispatched on Friday by First Class post. Additional requests from people wishing to attend are being discussed with the family on an on-going basis.
Downing Street also revealed the dress code that will be sent out with invitations: Full Day Ceremonial without swords; Morning Dress (Black Waistcoat and Black Tie) / dark suit; Day dress with Hat and Medals and Decorations may be worn.