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Iron Lady's outfits - minus handbags - gifted to nation

By Sherna Noah

Published 01/10/2016

Six of the former Prime Minister’s outfits have been given to the Victoria & Albert Museum by her children and grandchildren
Six of the former Prime Minister’s outfits have been given to the Victoria & Albert Museum by her children and grandchildren
Six of the former Prime Minister’s outfits have been given to the Victoria & Albert Museum by her children and grandchildren
Six of the former Prime Minister’s outfits have been given to the Victoria & Albert Museum by her children and grandchildren

Six outfits worn by Baroness Thatcher have been donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) by the former Prime Minister's famiy - but there is no handbag.

The ensembles and a hat were worn by the late Tory leader at "significant moments in her public and private life".

Highlights from the wardrobe will go on public display in December in the museum's fashion gallery.

The outfits have been donated to the V&A by Baroness Thatcher's children Sir Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher, and her grandchildren Michael Thatcher and Amanda Thatcher.

The collection includes a royal blue suit with statement shoulder pads, a silk hat with feathers worn at husband Sir Denis's funeral, and a wool crepe fuchsia-pink suit.

Britain's first female PM, who famously liked to carry a handbag, used her wardrobe to reflect her role as a stateswoman, recalling in her memoir The Downing Street Years: "I took a close interest in clothes, as most women do: but it was also extremely important that the impression I gave was right for the political occasion."

The blue wool suit was designed by British company Aquascutum, who provided Baroness Thatcher with tailored suits throughout her career. The collection also includes a caramel silk crepe dress with a floral print by Daphne Scrimgeour, the Baroness's personal dressmaker, which she wore at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in New Delhi in 1983.

Baroness Thatcher, who died in 2013, once said that she "made almost no concessions to formal dress", adding: "I believe that the public really likes its leaders to look business-like and well turned out."

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