The Queen and Margaret Thatcher’s tense relationship revealed 109



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Rumours that Queen had a dislike for Margaret Thatcher had never been confirmed…until now. In a new biography about Margaret Thatcher by Charles Moore, it is revealed just what the Queen thought of the former PM.

An excerpt published in The Daily Telegraph outlines how Mrs Thatcher was sworn to secrecy about anything the Queen had told her.

The animosity came to a head, Moore writes, “when a serious disagreement arose between Buckingham Palace and Downing Street over the issue of sanctions against apartheid South Africa. Mrs Thatcher opposed them, fearing making South Africa more of a pariah state would hold back progress towards reform. The Queen, as head of the Commonwealth, was under pressure from its leaders to support sanctions”.

In July 1986, the Queen ended her summer holiday in Balmoral early to save the Commonwealth.

The Sunday Times ran the headline: “Queen dismayed by ‘uncaring’ Thatcher”, and reported that the rift between monarch and Prime Minister over South Africa and the Commonwealth was indeed real.

In Thatcher’s biography, Moore writes, “Buckingham Palace rushed out a statement, saying that ‘as with all previous prime ministers, the Queen enjoys a relationship of the closest confidentiality with Mrs Thatcher, and reports purporting to be the Queen’s opinion of government policies are entirely without foundation'”.

But apparently it was the Queen’s press secretary Michael Shea who told Andrew Neil, the editor of the Sunday Times.

So the Queen needed to quash the rumours and rang Mrs Thatcher to tell her “that she ‘could not imagine how the story came to be circulated, and anyway it bears no relation to the truth as I understand it . . .'”, wrote Moore.

“Many people were naturally disposed to believe the Palace denial (or apparent denial), which was repeated by [Sir William] Heseltine (the Queen’s private secretary) in a letter to the Times. But the fact that the story had come from the Queen’s press secretary meant that the paper and its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, were able to stand by it. It was clear to Mrs Thatcher, therefore, that there had been some truth in it”.

It was believes that Mrs Thatcher felt desperately hurt by the Queen’s dislike for her, but never verbalised it.

Tell us, do you think the Queen should have revealed that she wasn’t a big fan of Thatcher, even to her most trusted people? Did you like Thatcher yourself?

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  1. Well that has given me a boost for Monday public holiday the queen not liking Thatcher. Thatcher was evil and England’s worst head and her destruction is still felt today. Abbott and the liberals are of the same breed maybe the queen has as much contempt for them as she did for “ding dong the witch is dead”

    18 REPLY
    • I know nothing much about British Politics Bea, but I do remember Thatcher was the iron lady, she must have been a tough old bird

    • I know quite a few English people who actually left England after she was elected. But her rule of the country saw poverty increase to an amazing level and is still recovering from her policies she was a disaster to the country. Do you remember when she died how there was celebrations in the street singing ” ding dong the witch is dead”

    • David Hearn you might be interest to know that Julia Gillard out lasted Abbott , she was longest serving PM since Howard 🙂

    • She was an evil woman. She stuffed up Scotland. She took much of the ship building down to England, leaving a lot of poverty and unemployment which still exists today !

    • David Hearn you’re obviously not very intelligent ! Thatcher and Gillard were NOT from the same mould ….. you obviously don’t know much about what Thatcher did to the whole of Britain. Maybe google her before you make such rediculous comments !

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      • Such interesting comments.Ship building in the UK was destroyed by union practices and building prices in the Soviet axis and Asian ship yards. Her leadership was preceded by about 5 years of labour. She herself lead 3 ministries. Someone must have liked her.

    • Oh love it Victoria . Yes the only one from the same mold are liberals they have been pushing the far right of Thatcherism since they got elected. Same tactics same horrid policies. They will end up with mud in their face as did thatcher

    • Just ask the Scots what they thought of Thatcher & how ‘O Flower of Scotland’ became such a symbolic song (80,000 Scots singing at Soccer match)

    • She was truly hated in scotland , she wouldn’t even learn to pronounce the names of the places correctly, ( you wouldn’t find HRH falling foul of that) she first tested poll tax in scotland , A most hated tax that had huge mansions paying the same rate as a 3 bedroom terrace , I think she brought Britain very close to a national revolution . She closed mines down indiscriminately and left whole towns jobless , then told dole recipients to ” get a job ” . With great dignity her many detractors silently turned their backs as her coffin passed in London on the day of her burial

    • What on earth does Gillard have to do with Thatcher? One is right wing, the other left, from different countries. Jeez some people can’t have a discussion without bring up theeir personal politics. Give it a rest David.

    • She closed all the mines in the North and untold poverty resulted in this one action alone. The Falklands War could also have been prevented…..they had ample intelligence warnings…but it was a good political move on her part. She was very savvy but went too far in her fascist rule.

  2. I think that this is all hearsay. I could not see the Queen telling anyone even her Private Secretary how she felt about the PM. This is just something that she would not do. She has probably disagreed with a lot of actions that her PMs have done over the years. Her role is to advice and caution and give her opinion in her private audiences with the PM. This is a man trying to sell a book. I would only believe this if it were confirmed by Mrs Thatcher or the Queen and that is not going to happen.

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  3. Thatcher, along with Reagan, were the first pushers of supply side economics, the markedly failed economic theory intended to cure the stagflation of the 1970s. The Queen, if as reported disliked Thatcher, has remarkably good taste, cleat demonstrated by where this failed theory has got us today!

  4. If the story is even remotely true, the queen would certainy not be the only one who disliked Margaret Thatcher!

  5. Margaret Thatcher was born without a soul. She destroyed people’s lives like a hot knife through butter , there are many many places in the UK that are still feeling the economic devastation she brought about . Public housing that was just that PUBLIC was sold off at a fraction of the price it was worth, making millionaires out of a fortunate few , she publicly declared war on the working class . The Queen born into a privileged and wealthy position had more interest in people than mad Maggie ever did , thatcher supported all the despots in the world and she gave her husband Denise a knighthood that passed on to her son , another worthless parasite . International politics do affect other countries and Britain is still a very powerful country

  6. If everybody kept their noses out of South Africa’s business the country wouldn’t be the total disaster it is today.

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    • So Pamela are we to presume that you think apartheid was a good thing for South Africa. As members of the Commonwealth we had duty to oppose the horrible system of government in SA.

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