Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Page 3 Profile: Sir Denis Thatcher, late husband of Baroness Thatcher

Was he the man who knew Margaret Thatcher best?

Almost certainly. To some, she was the heroine who made Britain politically and economically relevant; to others, she was the engine of the cold, mechanical combine that made a wasteland of the industrial North. To Sir Denis, though, she was a wife, best friend and mother to their twins, Mark and Carol. The former Royal Artillery major met the woman who would become his second wife in February 1949, at a Paint Trades Federation function in Dartford, Kent. They were married in 1951.

Was it love at first sight?

"Certainly not," a typically forthright Mrs Thatcher once said. Her husband was more complimentary, saying he noticed that she had a "good pair of legs". Nevertheless, they were a good match. His views were as right-wing as hers, and his money (he was a millionaire from his family's paint business) made her pursuit of power all the easier. He was once described as "a world-class chauvinist married to the supreme symbol of female equality", but he never became a source of embarrassment.

How did Private Eye see him?

The magazine's mocking "Dear Bill" letters, purporting to be his correspondence with a friend, were an affectionate caricature. The PM's husband was portrayed – not entirely inaccurately – as a far-right golfer who believed the Labour Party was full of communists. Sir Denis also liked a drink, or as he variously referred to it: an "opener", "brightener", "lifter", "tincture", "snifter" or "snort". While not quite as hen-pecked as the "vegetables" in the Cabinet, he remained subject to the demands of "The Boss". In reality, he was her "mainstay" and a "tower of strength" who helped her through the rough seas of political life. Their daughter, Carol, said: "Dad always used to defuse difficult situations with humour. If there was a crisis he'd pour himself a stiff gin and say: 'Let's just relax.' He lived on gin and cigarettes and made it to 88."

And what did Sir Denis have to say about the Iron Lady?

"I have been married to one of the greatest women the world has ever produced," he once boasted. "All I could produce, small as it may be, was love and loyalty."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before