The not-so-iron Lady

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

IN your Christ­mas-cal­en­dar num­ber, Neil Hoyle takes Nathaniel Parker to task for say­ing he never heard any­one call Mar­garet Thatcher charm­ing (Let­ters, Novem­ber 30). May I en­dorse Mr Hoyle?

In 1975, I had the job of look­ing after the then newly ap­pointed Leader of the Op­po­si­tion on her first visit to an evening func­tion at Buck­ing­ham Palace. I spent the evening in­tro­duc­ing her to a wide va­ri­ety of guests and found her per­fectly charm­ing, as did those she spoke to.

As we were leav­ing, I told her that the 18-year-old daugh­ter of the Costa Ri­can Am­bas­sador was do­ing a project on fe­males in pol­i­tics and was wait­ing at the exit to shake her hand. After an ex­haust­ing day and with work wait­ing for her at home, Mrs Thatcher spent 10 min­utes talk­ing to the girl. How­ever, cross her on pol­icy and you got a dif­fer­ent re­ac­tion! Sir Roger Du Boulay, Berk­shire

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