Amanda Thatcher, Inadvertent Star of Prime Minister's Funeral, Runs Track At Richmond
Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who died April 8 at 87, was laid to rest today at St. Paul's Cathedral in London with 2,300 people (and 4,000 policemen) in attendance.
Yet the inadvertent star of the ceremony was Thatcher's 19-year-old granddaughter, Amanda, who delivered a flawless reading from the book of Ephesians. The daughter of Thatcher's son, Mark, was one of only two readers at the funeral along with Prime Minister David Cameron.
Her composed reading -- with a slight Texan twang -- prompted a frenzy of activity on Twitter, with "Amanda Thatcher" trending worldwide for a period following the ceremony. Yet fans of the Atlantic 10 track circuit might have thought the girl in the black coat and wide-brimmed hat looked familiar.
Thatcher, a freshman member of the track team at the University of Richmond, is an accomplished runner. Her bio on the school's athletics website states that she won a district title in the 300-meter hurdles as a senior at Highland Park High School in Dallas to qualify for the Texas Region II finals also recording a personal best of 35 feet, four inches in the triple jump. When she graduated from high school, she was voted most likely to change the world by her peers.
And she's not the only athlete in the family.
Amanda's older brother, Michael, helped lead the Highland Park football team to the Class 4A Division II state final as a running back in 2007, despite only having taken up the sport in 2004 after moving to the U.S. from South Africa. He posted solid numbers as a senior, but his most memorable moment was a 48-yead fingertip catch in a playoff game against West Mesquite before a crowd of 10,000 that helped the Scots to a 49-6 victory.
"It was a spectacular catch," coach Randy Allen told the Dallas Morning News. "I have never seen one like that."
Clear eyes, full hearts.
Now 24, Michael works at a pharmacy in a Dallas suburb after studying chemistry at Texas A&M.