Before the funeral of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher today, few people had heard of her 19-year-old American granddaughter — Amanda Thatcher.
Now the Guardian is describing her as the “inadvertent star” of the funeral, and London’s Evening Standard says she “captivated 2,500 mourners in St Paul’s and millions more watching on TV”. According to the Mirror she sparked a “Twitter frenzy” after her “flawless reading”.
It certainly was an impressive performance, given that the high profile of the event and Amanda’s young age.
Here’s footage of the reading given by Amanda. It was the first reading of the service, a passage from Ephesians:
While she is the granddaughter of a iconic British leader, Amanda is an all American girl. She studies at the University of Richmond in Virginia, where she is on the Richmond Spiders hurdles/jumps team. Before heading to Virgina she graduated from high school in Dallas.
Amanda is the daughter of Mark Thatcher and his first wife, American Dianne Burgdorf.
Mark Thatcher has had an eventful life — he famously went missing during the first term of his mother’s time as Prime Minster, losing his way in the Saharan dessert during the Paris-Dakar Rally. He went on to live in the USA in the 1980s until financial scandals prompted a move to South Africa. In 2004 Mark Thatcher was arrested for his part in a coup d’état attempt in Equatorial Guinea. The following year Burgdorf divorced him and the family (including Amanda) returned to America.
Her father’s dark past might not hurt Amanda’s future however, as this joke from bookmakers Ladbrokes notes:
Ladbrokes: Amanda Thatcher is 200/1 to be elected President of the United States at any time.
— Ladbrokes Politics (@LadPolitics) April 17, 2013
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