Episode #7 of the course “Incredible female leaders through history”
Margaret Roberts Thatcher, who is commonly known by her nickname “the Iron Lady,” was the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She is known for her economic and international foreign relations policies aimed at restoring strength and conservative values to the UK. A mother and beloved politician, Thatcher retired from public life in 2002 and died in 2013.
Born Margaret Roberts in 1925, Thatcher grew up the daughter of a minor politician. She enjoyed a varied and active education and many activities, including piano, swimming, and field hockey, as well as a strict Methodist upbringing. After graduating from Oxford with a BS in chemistry, she became politically active in the Conservative Party. Thatcher married in 1951, passed the bar to become a barrister, and become a mother of twins by 1953.
Thatcher’s time in Parliament and as prime minister is known for its conservative economic policies, her aggressive tax reform, and her ability to curb unemployment and inflation. She met weekly with Queen Elizabeth II and was known to actively disagree with her. The first female British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher is depicted in films such as the recent Iron Lady, where she was played by Meryl Streep.
After serving as prime minister, Thatcher continued her involvement with the House of Commons in Parliament, eventually retiring from politics entirely in 1992. She then wrote two memoirs, established a foundation, and spoke publicly on political and social issues until 2002, when she suffered several small strokes and was advised to discontinue public speaking. Margaret Thatcher’s husband of over 50 years passed away in 2003, and Thatcher began to suffer from dementia in 2005. After her death in 2013, she was given full military honors at her funeral, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.
“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.”
“You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn’t you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!”
“Pennies don’t fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth.”
“No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.”
“I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.”
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