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Margaret Thatcher: Dignitaries ponder how Thatcher will be remembered

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Inside the British Embassy, dignitaries scribed their final messages to Margaret Thatcher, including British Ambassador Peter Westmacott, who called Thatcher a "towering figure of British political history" even though she was often seen as divisive and controversial in her homeland.

"Quite often the reality is that political figures when they leave office are sometimes more appreciated outside their own country than at home...," explained Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the U.S.

Thatcher will be remembered in London April 17 at a funeral expected to be similar in scale to that of Princess Diana's. The question is how will she be remembered beyond that.

"I think if I was able to sit down with her just before her life came to an end, I'd probably want to ask her what she feels has been the lasting effects of the changes and reforms she saw through during those 11 years that she was prime minister...' Westmacott added.

A prime minister revered as a non-wavering political stalwart, a powerful leader - who in the words of one ex-pat - "grabbed Britain by the scruff of its neck and brought it back to global prominence." A woman, who deeply loved both her native England and the United States. 

"She felt the relationship between Britain and the States was immensely important...," Westmacott continued. "She also saw the U.S. as the principal indispensable leader of the free world at a time when freedoms were under attack in different parts of the world..."

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