Margaret Thatcher dies at 87 following stroke

Baroness Thatcher has died at the age of 87 following a stroke, her family announced today.

As tributes poured in to the former premier, it was announced that she will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Downing Street gave details of the event after the Tory former prime minister died this morning. She had been in ill health for several years and was rarely seen in public in recent years.

The Queen was said to be “sad” at news of her death and Prime Minister David Cameron praised her as a “great leader” and a “great Briton”.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said Mrs Thatcher had been one of the “defining figures in modern British politics”.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “We can announce that, with the Queen’s consent, Lady Thatcher will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours.

“The service will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. A wide and diverse range of people and groups with connections to Lady Thatcher will be invited.

“The service will be followed by a private cremation.

“All the arrangements being put in place are in line with wishes of Lady Thatcher’s family. Further details will be published over the coming days.”

Mr Cameron is returning early from an official trip to Spain after the news of Baroness Thatcher’s death was announced by her spokesman, Lord Bell. She is understood to have been recuperating at the Ritz Hotel in London after a minor operation.

Baroness Thatcher earned a place in the history books as the first woman prime minister when she entered Downing Street in 1979.