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Margaret Thatcher - and her favourite handbag - return to Downing Street

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The former PM was welcomed by Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah at the unveiling of her portrait
 Photo: © Rex

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Artist Richard Stone added Lady Thatcher's trademark accessory at the last minute to the painting - seen before completion - at her request 

24 NOVEMBER 2009

"I'm not sure if it's good or not, but I like it."

That was the verdict of Margaret Thatcher as her official portrait was unveiled at 10 Downing Street.

The former prime minister was welcomed back to her old home this week for the ceremony by the current leader Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah.

Labour Party leader Gordon commissioned the picture after inviting the 84-year-old stateswoman to Downing Street for tea in September 2007.

Painted by distinguished royal artist Richard Stone, the portrait depicts her at the height of her 11 years in power, just after the Falklands War in 1982.

It will be hung in her former No 10 study, which Mr Brown uses for meetings with foreign dignitaries.

A closer look at the picture reveals Lady Thatcher's trademark handbag. It was a last minute addition to the painting at the request of the subject herself.

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