Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatchers Relationship, in Photos – TownandCountrymag.com

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zmb queen elizabeth ii and margaret thatcher visit zambia

Anwar HusseinGetty Images

Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher had a famously complicated relationship. A notorious 1986 report in the Sunday Times, headlined “Queen dismayed by ‘uncaring’ Thatcher,” was among the flashpoints in their time working together—understandably, as it claimed that the Queen, who has always done her best to stay out of politics, staunchly disagreed with the Prime Minister’s refusal to impose sanctions on apartheid South Africa. It also claimed that the monarch found Thatcher to be “confrontational and socially divisive.”

Still, the pair managed to work together for over a decade as monarch and Prime Minister; later reports have it that the Queen apologized for the article, and the Queen would eventually award Thatcher the prestigious Order of Merit. Below, photographs of Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher through the years.

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1

1975

Thatcher, then Leader of the Opposition, curtsies as she greets Queen Elizabeth at the Inter-Parliamentary Conference.

2

1979

The Queen and Prime Minister both traveled to Zambia in 1979 to attend that year’s Commonwealth conference. Here, they speak to other guests at one of the conference’s more formal events.

3

1983

Louis Mountbatten, a longtime military leader and uncle to Prince Philip, was killed by the IRA in a bomb blast off the coast of Ireland in 1979. Here, the Queen and Margaret Thatcher attend the unveiling of a bronze statue erected in his honor.

4

1984

Queen Elizabeth held a special banquet during 1984’s London Economic Summit, which allowed photographers to capture this rare moment between the British monarch, President Ronald Reagan, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

5

1985

Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher enter the formal event together, each wearing floor-length gowns.

6

1985

Queen Elizabeth arrives at an event at 10 Downing Street, and is welcomed by the Prime Minister with a curtsey.

8

1986

At an EEC summit in London, French President Francois Mitterrand (bottom left), Queen Elizabeth, Margaret Thatcher, French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac (top right), and more dignitaries pose for a photograph.

9

1990

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are seated onstage as Thatcher delivers a speech.

10

1995

Five years after her term as Prime Minister ended, Margaret Thatcher celebrated her 70th birthday with a grand party—and of course the Queen was a special guest.

11

2000

The Queen and the former Prime Minister share a laugh while opening a new wing of London’s National Portrait Gallery.

12

2004

Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher speak at a Buckingham Palace reception.

13

2005

Thatcher threw another bash for her 80th birthday, and the Queen once again attended the event.

14

2007

Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair look on as Thatcher greets the Queen with a curtsey. The dignitaries were attending a service at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Liberation Day.

15

2009

Margaret Thatcher, wearing her Order of Merit badge (an honor bestowed by the Queen), speaks with the Queen at Buckingham Palace ahead of a lunch for members of the Order.

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