This is the full text of Baroness Thatcher's pre-recorded eulogy to President Reagan:
Thatcher and Reagan were the closest of Cold War allies
"We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man. And I
have lost a dear friend.
"In his lifetime Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence
that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He
sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free
world, and to free the slaves of communism.
"These were causes hard to accomplish
and heavy with risk.
"Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. For Ronald Reagan
also embodied another great cause - what Arnold Bennett once called 'the great
cause of cheering us all up'.
"His politics had a freshness and optimism that won
converts from every class and every nation - and ultimately from the very heart
of the evil empire.
'Grace under pressure'
"Yet his humour often had a purpose beyond humour. In the terrible hours
after the attempt on his life, his easy jokes gave reassurance to an anxious
Ronald Reagan's life was providential
"They were evidence that in the aftermath of terror and in the midst of
hysteria, one great heart at least remained sane and jocular. They were truly
grace under pressure.
"And perhaps they signified grace of a deeper kind. Ronnie himself certainly
believed that he had been given back his life for a purpose.
"As he told a priest
after his recovery 'Whatever time I've got left now belongs to the Big Fella
"And surely it is hard to deny that Ronald Reagan's life was providential,
when we look at what he achieved in the eight years that followed.
"Others prophesied the decline of the West; he inspired America and its
allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom.
"Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a stagnant economy into an
engine of opportunity.
"Others hoped, at best, for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union; he
won the Cold War - not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies
out of their fortress and turning them into friends.
"I cannot imagine how any diplomat, or any dramatist, could improve on his
words to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva summit: 'Let me tell you why it is we
When his enemies tested American resolve, they soon discovered that his resolve was firm and unyielding
Those words are candid and tough and they cannot have been easy to hear. But they are also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new
relationship that would be rooted in trust.
"We live today in the world that Ronald Reagan began to reshape with those
words. It is a very different world with different challenges and new dangers.
All in all, however, it is one of greater freedom and prosperity, one more
hopeful than the world he inherited on becoming president.
"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
"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.
"When his aides were preparing option papers for his decision, they were able
to cut out entire rafts of proposals that they knew 'the Old Man' would never
"When his allies came under Soviet or domestic pressure, they could look
confidently to Washington for firm leadership.
Baroness Thatcher is paying tribute to an old friend
"And when his enemies tested American resolve, they soon discovered that his
resolve was firm and unyielding.
"Yet his ideas, though clear, were never simplistic. He saw the many sides of
"Yes, he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military
power and territorial expansion; but he also sensed it was being eaten away by
systemic failures impossible to reform.
"Yes, he did not shrink from denouncing Moscow's 'evil empire'. But he
realised that a man of goodwill might nonetheless emerge from within its dark
"So the President resisted Soviet expansion and pressed down on Soviet
weakness at every point until the day came when communism began to collapse
beneath the combined weight of these pressures and its own failures.
"And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation.
"Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted
magnanimity - and nothing was more American.
"Therein lies perhaps the final explanation of his achievements.
Reagan carried the American people with him in his great endeavours because
there was perfect sympathy between them. He and they loved America and what it
stands for - freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.
"As an actor in Hollywood's golden age, he helped to make the American dream
live for millions all over the globe. His own life was a fulfilment of that
"He never succumbed to the embarrassment some people feel about an honest expression of love of country.
"He was able to say 'God Bless America' with equal fervour in public and in
private. And so he was able to call confidently upon his fellow-countrymen to
make sacrifices for America - and to make sacrifices for those who looked to
America for hope and rescue.
"With the lever of American patriotism, he lifted up the world.
"And so today
the world - in Prague, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Sofia, in Bucharest, in Kiev
and in Moscow itself - the world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and
echoes his prayer 'God Bless America'.
"Ronald Reagan's life was rich not only in public achievement, but also in
"Indeed, his public achievements were rooted in his private
happiness. The great turning point of his life was his meeting and marriage with
"On that we have the plain testimony of a loving and grateful husband: 'Nancy
came along and saved my soul.' We share her grief today. But we also share her
pride - and the grief and pride of Ronnie's children.
"For the final years of his life, Ronnie's mind was clouded by illness. That
cloud has now lifted.
"He is himself again - more himself than at any time on
this earth. For we may be sure that the Big Fella Upstairs never forgets those
who remember Him.
"And as the last journey of this faithful pilgrim took him
beyond the sunset, and as heaven's morning broke, I like to think - in the words
of Bunyan - that 'all the trumpets sounded on the other side'.
"We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that
Ronald Reagan never had.
"We have his example. Let us give thanks today for a
life that achieved so much for all of God's children."