Meryl Streep who won Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher in movie "The Iron Lady" pays tribute to the former U.K. Prime Minister after she died Monday, April 8. The actress remembered the late politician as "a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics."
Thatcher passed away from a stroke at The Ritz Hotel in London. She had suffered a decade of declining health and had been staying at a suite in The Ritz Hotel since Christmas after having difficulty with stairs at her Chester Square home. She was 87.
Streep said in Thatcher's memory, "It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the UK at the end of the 20th century. Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others."
"There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty," she went on. "But to me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit."
"To have come up, legitimately, through the ranks of the British political system, class bound and gender phobic as it was, in the time that she did and the way that she did, was a formidable achievement. To have won it, not because she inherited position as the daughter of a great man, or the widow of an important man, but by dint of her own striving."
"To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas - wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now - without corruption."
"I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable."
"I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends," Streep concluded.
Sarah Palin also paid homage to the late leader, "We're deeply saddened at the loss of Margaret Thatcher. While the Iron Lady is sadly gone, her iron will, her unfailing trust in what is right and just, and her lessons to all of us will live on forever. She was a trailblazer like no other. We lost an icon, but her legacy, as solid as iron, will live on in perpetuity."
The White House issued a statement as well, "As a grocer's daughter who rose to become Britain's first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best."
A spokesperson for the Buckingham Palace said, "The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family." Prime Minister David Cameron added, "It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We've lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton."
Labour leader Ed Miliband even stated, "The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength."