Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke, her spokesman announced Monday. She was 87.
"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning," Lord Timothy Bell, Thatcher's former adviser, told the media. He added that a more detailed statement would be released later in the day.
Thatcher, with the Queen’s consent, will be given a full ceremonial funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral. A ceremonial funeral is different from a state funeral, as the BBC details.
Also known as the Iron Lady—the title of a 2011 biopic in which she was played by Meryl Streep—Thatcher was a notoriously controversial figure in British and world politics. Britain's first female prime minister, she was a staunch supporter of free-market policies and infamous for her hard-line stances on government spending.
Prime Minister David Cameron reacted to the news via Twitter, with his official account stating: "It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We've lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton."
Of course, anyone familiar with Thatcher's legacy knows that there are plenty who don't agree.
From London, GlobalPost's Corinne Purtill wrote: "Since 2010, there's been a site called Is Thatcher Dead Yet—just a single page with the words 'Not Yet' in large black letters on a white background. Was updated within a minute of the official report to 'Yes.'"
The same group posted a link to a decidedly anti-Thatcher playlist of songs, including "Ding Dong! Emerald City" and "All You Fascists."
Purtill noted that the Twitter hashtag promoted by the group, "#nowthatchersdead," was causing alarm among singer Cher's fanbase, some of whom read the hashtag as "Now That Cher’s Dead."
Several parties to celebrate, rather than mourn, Thatcher's death have also been promoted since the news of her passing. GlobalPost's Purtill reported this afternoon, London time receiving her first invitation to attend one of them.
Thatcher helmed British government from No. 10 Downing Street for 11 years, from 1979 to 1990. She had previously spent years working at lower levels of government.