Pictures from Margaret Thatcher's final farewell

It was a state funeral in all ways but in name, because it wasn't what Baroness Margaret Thatcher wished.

Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century was laid to rest on Wednesday morning in a grand ceremonial service held at St Paul's Cathedral, following a procession by horse-drawn carriage through London's streets that were filled by thousands of mourners.

The emotional service was attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, current Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, and a host of other former leaders along with Lady Thatcher's twins Mark and Carol. Dignitaries from 170 countries were also present at the funeral service.

Others in attendance included the well-known faces of Sarah Ferguson, Joan Collins, Katherine Jenkins and Andrew Lloyd Webber, just a few of the many mourners from across the world who paid their respects to Baroness Thatcher.  

During the sombre proceedings, the iconic politician – who is the only female prime minister to have served in Britain to date – was hailed for her "leadership, courage and steadfastness." Her beloved granddaughter Amanda, 19, read at the service – a detail expressly requested by Lady Thatcher, famously known as the Iron Lady, herself. She also asked that David Cameron read, which he did.

Mark and Carol paid tribute to their mother more privately with a small card nestled in the wreath that adorned her coffin: "Beloved Mother - always in our hearts."

We look at the capital's send-off of the lady who lead the country in many of the key moments in British history – including the Falklands War, the Miners' Strike and the end of the Cold War.

Thousands gather before the cortege passes along Fleet Street towards St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday morning. Some mourners even camped out the previous night in order to have a good vantage point of the procession 

The funeral cortege carrying the coffin of Margaret Thatcher passes along Ludgate Hill, watched by thousands of mourners 

A member of the public is visibly moved as the coffin containing Britain's only female - and longest-standing - prime minister is taken from St Clement Danes church during her funeral procession 

Baroness Thatcher's coffin is carried into St Paul's Cathedral by the Bearer Party made up of personnel from the three branches of the military 

The Queen shakes hands with Lady Thatcher's son Mark as they leave the ceremonial funeral of the former British prime minister and longest-serving leader of the 20th century 

A beautiful floral tribute from Lady Thatcher's two children Mark and Carol. The note, nestled in the wreath, reads: "Beloved Mother - Always in our hearts." 

Famous faces Sarah Ferguson, Joan Collins, Katherine Jenkins and Andrew Lloyd Webber are just a few of the many mourners from across the world who paid their respects to Baroness Thatcher 

Former leader Tony Blair arrives with his wife Cherie, as does the current Prime Minister David Cameron with his wife Samantha, and Gordon Brown. The PM read at the emotional service, a request made by Baroness Thatcher herself. Before taking to the podium, David had said the funeral was "a fitting tribute to a truly great leader" 

Late Lady Thatcher's family look on from the steps of St Paul's Cathedral as the coffin is placed in the hearse after the ceremonial funeral with full military honours. From the left, daughter Carol, her partner Marco Grass, Mark's wife Sarah, Mark, and his two children Michael and Amanda 

Margaret Thatcher's beautiful young granddaughter Amanda, 19, is dressed elegantly in black as she reads from St Paul's Letter to the Ephesians VI. 10-18 in a crystal clear voice