The Iron Barnet: Margaret Thatcher had 118 hair appointments in just 12 months

Thatcher's locks were as big a part of her image as her sensible handbag, but few knew just how long it took her to keep her famous barnet in check

So far, these newly-released government files have uncovered all sorts of unflattering secrets about the late former British Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher.

There were reports that she was quietly plotting to draft in the army to help squash the miner’s strike.

Then, the documents that suggested she was the victim of a prank when a fake tape of her and Ronald Reagan discussing the Falklands – originally believed to have been doctored by British anarcho-punks Crass – almost caused an international incident in 1983 after it got into the hands of the Dutch press.

So far, so Iron Lady. Quelle Surprise.

But there were a few far more personal nougats of forgotten information that did raise our eyebrows. Including the revelation that she underwent a mammoth 118 hair appointments in just 12 months.

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Thatcher's locks were as big a part of her image as her sensible handbag, but few knew just how long it took her to keep her famous barnet in check until the National Archives released her 1984 appointments diary.

According to the documents, she spent five consecutive days in the chair having her hair tended to when she hosted an economic summit for world leaders in London.

Her diary also confirmed she was a stiffened workaholic who found it difficult to wind down (again, quelle surprise).

She had a two-and-a-half-week summer holiday in Austria and Switzerland where, far from hitting the slopes and the sauna, she squeezed in meetings with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Austrian Chancellor Fred Sinowitz  and former UN secretary general Kurt Waldheim.

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Oh, and she went to a dinner for bankers, casually dropped in on a local chipboard factor, as one does, and took tea with the president of the Swiss Confederation.

And in the morning? She “worked in the library” writing letters. Though staff did log one solitary half-day dedicated to “swimming and relaxation”. Presumably wearing some sort of cap so as not to end up in the hairdresser’s chair for a further five days.

 

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