London's Ritz hotel is currently preparing for the final departure of one of its most celebrated guests following the death this morning of Baroness Thatcher in one of the property's bedroom suites.
Lady Thatcher had been staying at the hotel since January after leaving hospital, where she had undergone an operation to remove a growth from her bladder. She died this morning at around 11am after suffering from a stroke.
The owners of the Ritz, the Barclay brothers, are believed to have invited Lady Thatcher to stay at the hotel as she was struggling with the stairs at her Belgravia home.
Lady Thatcher was a long-term guest and customer at the Ritz and enjoyed many family celebrations at the five-star, 134-bedroom hotel, including a dinner to celebrate her golden wedding anniversary to Denis Thatcher in December 2001.
As a regular diner at the hotel, every time she left the Ritz restaurant, the pianist always played A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square at her request.