Skip to comments.Margaret Thatcher Honored at Reagan Library
Posted on 03/30/2006 2:44:11 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
A portrait of former British Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher was unveiled yesterday by former first lady Nancy Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library.
Described by the Ventura Country Star as showing Mrs. Thatcher - the fiercely determined woman the Soviets dubbed "The Iron Lady" - wearing a royal blue suit and seated with her hands folded in her lap. The portrait is the work of artist Richard Stone, the only artist whose royal subjects include Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, and Princes William and Harry.
Stone said the painting took him 10 months to complete and was commissioned for Thatcher's 80th birthday, which she celebrated in August.
"I know my husband would be so pleased to honor our dear friend in this way," Nancy Reagan said in a statement. "This special tribute to Margaret Thatcher is a wonderful addition to the library's official collection."
Lady Thatcher, who has visited the library at least three times but was unable to attend the unveiling ceremony, recalled her close relationship with the late president when delivering her eulogy at President Reagan's funeral.
"As Prime Minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of all our lives. We talked regularly both before and after his presidency. And I have had time and cause to reflect on what made him a great president.
"Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles - and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.
"When the world threw problems at the White House, he was not baffled, or disorientated, or overwhelmed. He knew almost instinctively what to do."
In his diary, then-Thatcher aide Sir Nicholas Henderson Mandarin wrote of the Prime Minister's first visit to the Reagan White House in February, 1981, when the two world leaders forged their historic close relationship.
"Before the visit they had both decided, as I know from what they each said to me, that they liked each other: this was on the basis of their two earlier meetings, a few years back, and of their similar political and economic policies (government off the backs of the people; greater incentives to industry; everything for the individual) and of the warm message Mrs. T had sent immediately the election results were known."
He added that the two grew so close during the visit that Reagan's press secretary Jim Brady told him that it had been "difficult to pry them apart".
The artist Stone told the Star that Thatcher would sometimes ask him to stay after their sessions and have a drink and continue discussing the topic of the day, whether it was politics, family or traditional family cooking.
"In moments such as these, she showed a sensitive side a kind, sensitive side that was not always revealed," he said.
And as he was finishing the portrait in the last few weeks, Stone said he saw Thatcher in a new light.
"I wanted to start all over again ... and show her how she really was."
When he showed the finished work to Thatcher last year, he recalls she placed her hand up to her pearl necklace and said, "It is how one would like to be remembered."
A truly lovely portrait of a lovely and capable lady.
That is a lovely portrait.
Thank you for posting the portrait.
Two great leaders honored together....wow
Amen. I loved both the Gipper and The Iron Lady then, and love them still.
If you were 25 years younger,and a US citizen,I'd vote for you in a heartbeat.
Oh how we need more world leaders like her now! I pray almost daily for such leaders to emerge.
I am thankful to have been witness to their contributions in this lifetime. But the portrait is a bit 'stiff'. I do prefer the photo of Lady Thatcher and Ronald Reagan on horseback..(Of course, I may be mistaken, it could have been the Queen on the horse) Anyway, it was one of my favorite photos of that era.
Good for her. She is a great lady. She would have been one lady I could have voted for President.
All a matter of perspective I suppose. I find the portrait to be dignified and complimentary.
I'm in total agreement.
Thanks for posting, pogo.
You know a great model when you see one! ";^)
Touche! Getting back on the stand some this summer. ^^