Monday, April 29, 2013

Legacy: Amanda Thatcher, Granddaughter of Lady Thatcher, and Brother Michael

It is never quite comfortable to say that one 'enjoys' some aspect of a funeral.*  Yet despite the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, one of the great personages of the late twentieth century during her extended tenure as Prime Minister, co-architect of the victory of the West against Soviet Communism, victorious in re-taking the Falkland Islands from the Argentine junta, and savior (for the moment) of the United Kingdom, the world was treated to a funeral befitting her stature, as fittingly ceremonious as only the British can do. 

The British press (never in her corner – the nature of the beast, as it were) sounded the clarion threat that her 'divisiveness' would leach the dole takers from their union halls and pubs in order to give one last insult to her cortege, but the few who actually turned up were diluted as a drop in the ocean by the legions of her admirers.  But the press keeps pounding that minor key expecting the people to sing along. 

One of the more uplifting moments of the service was the introduction to a far wider audience of the granddaughter of Lady Thatcher.  I was already aware of the existence of Amanda Margaret Thatcher and brother Michael, children of Lady Thatcher's son Sir Mark and former wife Diane Beckett (née Burgdorf), and the fact that their mother took them to live in Texas during their formative years.  In fact, they both attended Highland Park High School in the independent little city surrounded by Dallas, with Michael being a celebrated running back and Amanda voted “most likely to change the world”.
Amanda Margaret Thatcher and brother Michael

Amanda was chosen as one of only two readers for the ceremony (other than PM David Cameron), appropriate I am sure due to her mature poise and the symbolic value of Lady Thatcher being the first female prime minister.  It is delightful to see such poise and natural elegance in a young lady.  (Michael had read at the funeral of grandfather Sir Denis Thatcher some ten years before.)  Amanda’s reading came from Ephesians 6:10-18, also appropriate to the memory of the Iron Lady: “. . . Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. . . .”  Indeed.

Though still a resident of the environs of Dallas, Miss Thatcher attends the University of Richmond.  (Already an excellent equestrienne from her early years living in South Africa, she now participates in track and field.)  Dick Stanley of The Texas Scribbler, who has a family connection to her university, nevertheless observes that considering her background and breeding, she should have attended Texas A&M University.  Oh, would that were so: a Thatcher as a conservative Texas Aggie – what an incredible combination. 

But there is still hope, or I should say, even more so.  As charming as the young Miss Thatcher can be, we mustn't forget her brother Michael.  Like his grandmother, he received his degree in Chemistry, from – of all places – Texas A&M University (Class of '11) and works in Dallas in Pharmacology in addition to his work with a Republican-affiliated group dedicated to Hispanic conservatives. 

Both siblings are considered to be bright, well-adjusted and humble, never seeking advantage from their name or the limelight.  Raised as devout evangelical Christians by their mother (Amanda has spent time as a missionary in China), they remained close to their grandmother primarily through their mother.  Lady Thatcher, who had her own press problems with her twin children, nevertheless absolutely doted on her two grandchildren and called them her "greatest delight".  It was the infant Michael she held at 10 Downing Street when she whimsically announced in faux-regal tones, "We have become a grandmother."

There are several times when I have found myself in conversation with a feminist on the topic of the need to vote for women.  I ask them why it is that voting for a woman simply because she is a woman is any better ethically than voting against her for the same reason.  I then bring up names such as Condoleezza Rice, Sarah Palin, or the like, and the names are immediately dismissed – showing the feminists' real agenda.  I have always said in those occasions that if I had a chance to vote for Margaret Thatcher, I would.  With these two, I pray that someday before I die, my wish to vote for a Thatcher will be fulfilled. 
With our current dilemma both here and particularly in Europe, growing worse, it shall perhaps be a variation of the famous words of Winston Churchill during the darkest hours of World War II, in his speech to the House of Commons about fighting on, in all its various ways and places, and if the British isles were to be subjugated, then they still "would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."
If that is to be the plan for these two, then they have my prayers and support.

*(On something quite separate from the main topic, I am always reminded in situations involving humor and funerals of Tom Lehrer's comments on Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel, upon reading the "juiciest obituary that it has ever been my pleasure to read.")

1 comment:

  1. I suspect her grades weren't good enough for A&M. It's not an easy entry like Richmond. Maybe she'll do well at Richmond and go to College Station for graduate school. Nice legs.

    Figures they grew up in Highland Park. They were smart to avoid SMU, but it, like A&M, is not a snap unless you have a sterling grade average. My maternal grandfather didn't and he went to SMU, in mechanical engineering, but that was back in the 1930s.


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