Thatcher's tribute to the Queen
9.50PM, Thu Apr 20 2006
Lady Thatcher has paid tribute to the Queen on the eve of her 80th birthday, calling her an "an inspiration" to the nation.
The former Prime Minister, who turned 80 last year, praised the "guidance and advice" the Queen had given her during her term in office, adding: "Long may she rule."
She said: "My very first audience as Prime Minister with Her Majesty the Queen set the tone for all those that followed over the next 11-and-a-half years.
"Her Majesty is eminently accomplished at putting people at their ease. But anyone who believes that such meetings are a mere formality would be greatly mistaken.
"The Queen takes an intense interest in every aspect of life in our country and she brings to bear a formidable grasp of current issues and a tremendous breadth of experience.
"Her guidance and advice are always most acute and as Prime Minister I was privileged to benefit from both enormously."
"I am delighted to be able to send this message, on the occasion of Her Majesty's 80th birthday.
"This is a great day - a day when we can express our boundless admiration and affection for our Queen.
"She is truly an inspiration and an example to the whole nation. Long may she rule. Happy Birthday Ma'am."