Margaret Thatcher's Children Reportedly "Cannot Bear to Be in the Same Room"

Amy Mackelden
·4-min read
Photo credit: Central Press - Getty Images
Photo credit: Central Press - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Season 4 of The Crown portrays the rise of Margaret Thatcher, the conservative British prime minister who held the post from 1979 to 1990—and was the first woman to be sworn in for the role in the country's history.

Outside politics, Margaret was married to Denis Thatcher, an English businessman, and the pair raised two children, twins Carol and Mark Thatcher, together. According to The Telegraph, Margaret is renowned for saying, "You need quite good shock absorbers and a sense of humor to be the prime minister's child."

Video: How the cast of ‘The Crown’ has evolved

Below, everything you need to about the former PM's children.

Carol Thatcher was a media darling … until she wasn't.

Carol and Mark were born six weeks premature in London on August 15, 1953, via Cesarean section, per The Times. Scotsman.com reported that while her mother was busy being a politician, "Carol was raised by nannies and teachers at St Paul's boarding school."

In 2005, Carol won the fifth season of the British version of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, per The Telegraph. After winning the show, Carol revealed (via Scotsman.com), "I left my mother's phone number behind so I don't even know her number. She doesn't know I'm here, so she won't notice."

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

Despite winning the reality show, her burgeoning TV career came to an abrupt end in 2009 when she made racist remarks about a tennis player on BBC's The One Show, per The Guardian. Her journalism career had already been "hampered," with Telegraph editor Bill Deedes reportedly saying, "She was cut off by quite a bit of the press who wouldn't run anything with Carol Thatcher's by-line."

When asked by The Independent whether she'd ever consider a career in politics, Carol replied, "No—one is enough in the family. I don't want to do it." Carol also felt as though she was second best to her brother. "Unloved is not the right word but I never felt that I made the grade," she revealed years later, according to The Independent.

Mark Thatcher briefly went missing during a rally raid race.

Per The Guardian, "Mark Thatcher was his mother's clear favorite. The extent of her devotion was most publicly shown in 1982, after he reinvented himself as a racing driver, took part in the Paris-Dakar rally, and went missing for six days in his Peugeot 504."

As if that escapade wasn't surprising enough, Mark also became known for his sometimes questionable business deals, with some suggesting, per The Guardian, that Mark had been "greasing the wheels with his mother's reputation."

In The Crown's fourth season, Prime Minister Thatcher (portrayed by Gillian Anderson) admits that Mark is her favorite child, which is "completely, undoubtedly true" historian Dominic Sandbrook told BBC's HistoryExtra magazine.

Photo credit: Sydney O'Meara - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sydney O'Meara - Getty Images

Mark moved to America and married Texan heiress Diane Burgdorf in 1987, having met three years earlier. The couple had two children together. However, their marriage hit a major hurdle when, in 2005, Mark "received a four-year suspended jail term for his involvement in allegedly helping to finance a coup led by his friend, Simon Mann, in Equatorial Guinea," per The Guardian.

According to Burgdorf, speaking to Evening Standard, she discovered that Mark was unfaithful with a woman named Sarah-Jane Clemence, whom Mark would go on to marry in 2008, after he was divorced from his first wife.

When Denis died in 2003, Mark inherited a hereditary baronetcy, so he is technically known as a "Sir."

Mark and Carol's rift continues.

In more recent years, Carol and Mark have demonstrated that there's little love lost between them. Following their mother's death in 2013, the twins inherited many of her personal possessions and were given the chance to acquire gifts she had received when she was prime minister. However, as reported by The Telegraph, Carol decided to auction off a substantial amount of her late mother's possessions, much to her brother's chagrin.

Photo credit: Jordan Mansfield - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jordan Mansfield - Getty Images

Sources reportedly said that Mark and Carol "cannot bear to be in the same room," the rift only growing wider following Carol's decision to profit off their mother's belongings. A member of Margaret's political party told The Mail on Sunday, "For once, Mark is on the side of the angels. His only concern is to protect his mother's legacy and he thinks this sale is simply abhorrent. They were extraordinarily close and he would never sell anything of hers."

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