Women who Ruled: Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of England from HistorysWomen.com

Margaret Hilda Thatcher
Prime Minister

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, former Prime Minister of England, commonly known as the “Iron Lady”, was born 13th October 1925 in Grantham, UK. The ex PM is now referred to as Baroness Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher, then known as Margaret Roberts, started her working life as a research Chemist. Her family ran a grocery shop with her father being her main political influence.

In 1950-51 elections, Margaret fought for the Labour seat of Dartford. She was the youngest woman conservative candidate. Margaret’s activity in the Kent conservative party led her to meet Denis Thatcher, a wealthy businessperson, whom she married in 1951. Denis funded his new wife to train as a lawyer. Margaret qualified in 1953, the same year that she had twins, Carole and Mark.

By 1959 Margaret had returned to work and ran for the Finchley seat, (one of the prime local areas in the UK which was under the Conservative party.) at the April elections which she won earning her a seat in the Houses of Parliament. Promotion was won early to the front bench as Parliamentary Secretary in 1961, a post she held until the Conservatives lost power in the ’64 elections.

Next for Margaret was to take her seat as Education Minister in 1969 where people believed her political career had peeked. Margaret had other ideas, and in ’75 she challenged Edward Heath for the Conservative leadership.

It is publicly noted that when Margaret informed Heath of the challenge, he never once looked up from his desk and simply stated “You’ll lose. Good day to you.” The first ballot in February saw her defeat Heath, with the second an outright win over him. This made Margaret the first woman to lead a western political party and serve as leader of the opposition in the House of Commons.

It was May 1979 that saw Margaret take the place as the first woman Prime Minister of the UK when the conservatives won the general election. The Prime Minister set about to transform the UK economy and to stop the trade unionists from further action.

One of the most memorable moments in British history is when Margaret went to war with Argentina. Few British leaders would have chosen a military invasion for the re-claiming of the Falkland Islands, but after diplomatic talks failed Argentina landed on the Islands and flew their flag, the first act of war. Due to the small numbers of casualties suffered, the war was never regarded as a major conflict by the rest of the world. However, it gave the people of the UK a renewed sense of patriotism.

Margaret went on to win a further three consecutive elections, until her demise was set in motion when she replaced an unpopular local government rates with an even less popular “Poll Tax”. The Poll Tax is famous for seeing huge numbers of riots break out across the UK in protest of the new taxes. Her resignation was made in November 1990.

Many of her followers saw Margaret Thatcher as the person who single-handed rejuvenated the British economy. Opponents say she was responsible for mass unemployment and the main cause of a vast inequality between the rich and poor.

In 1992, Margaret was given the title Baroness Thatcher. For the last few years, her health has continued to decline. Most of the Baroness’s direct political work is carried out as the head of the Thatcher Foundation.


Kelly Smyrk started her writing career at the age of 12, when she won first prize at the local school she attended, for a writing competition. Since then Kelly has dreamed of becoming a published author for her non-fiction work. After deciding to have a family first, it is only in the last year that Kelly has dedicated full time hours to her writing. She now has interest from over 12 newspapers, magazines and online publications for upcoming work. At the age of 29, Kelly and her husband have four children between them ranging from 15 down to 4 years old. Kelly hopes to continue her work for many years to come.