Margaret Thatcher's funeral will take place next Wednesday and will be attended by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

David Cameron confirmed that the ceremony - similar in status to those held for Princess Diana and the Queen Mother and expected to cost up to ?8 million - will be held at St Paul's cathedral.

Dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend the service.

"Lady Thatcher's funeral service will take place on Wednesday, 17th April at St Paul's Cathedral," the premier posted on Twitter.

A Downing Street spokesman said the date had been agreed at a "co-ordination meeting" with the Thatcher family and Buckingham Palace this morning.

A statement from the Palace said: "The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will attend the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral next Wednesday."

The tribute is the biggest of its kind for a politician since Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral in 1965.

But many are furious controversial Thatcher is getting such a grand honour, especially as the taxpayer is likely to bear the brunt of the bill.

Critics quickly took to Twitter following news of Thatcher's death, with #nostatefuneral one of the top UK trends and an e-petition quickly gaining thousands of signatures.

One angry tweeter, Parapraxia, wrote: “If Thatcher can have the same funeral as Princess Diana it’s only fair we dig up Hitler and give him a go.”

Marc Johnson @johnson_genius wrote: ‘The boos will be heard loud and clear #dingDongTheWitchIsDead.”

And Adam Summerson said: “no comparison between Diana and Thatcher. Nothing will excuse some of Thatchers regime.”

Funeral Service takes place at Westminster Abbey
Pomp and circumstance: Thatcher's send-off will be similar to Princess Diana's
poll loading

Should Margaret Thatcher have a ceremonial funeral?

8000+ VOTES SO FAR

Hundreds of foreign dignitaries will be invited alongside Prime Minister David Cameron, the three living former PMs, Sir John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and top MPs.

Dozens of streets in Central London will be closed in the hours running up to the ceremony, with hundreds of servicemen lining the route.

A Downing Street spokesman said the funeral will begin at Westminster at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft – known as The Crypt.

Thatcher’s coffin will be taken by a hearse to the RAF Chapel, the church of St Clement Danes, in the Strand.

From there her coffin will be transferred to a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery.

The impressive cortege will then proceed down the Strand, through Aldwych, then along the entire length of Fleet Street before rising up Ludgate Hill to the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral, which was chosen at her request.

A guard of Chelsea Pensioners, dressed in their traditional red tunics, will line the steps of St Paul’s as her coffin is carried in by members of the armed forces.

Thatcher’s love of Elgar’s classical music – especially Pomp and Circumstance – is also expected to be reflected in the service.

One Whitehall official said: “To the man in the street it will look like a state funeral.”

A ring of steel will see snipers on rooftops, officers in the crowds and armed police trained to deal with a Mumbai-style atrocity.

They will also be on guard for threats from al-Qaeda-inspired extremists and dissident Irish republican terrorists.

Scotland Yard said talks with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is handling the event, were “ongoing”.

After the public service the cortege will travel to Mortlake Crematorium in South West London for a small private family gathering.

She will be buried alongside husband Denis at the cemetery of the Royal Chelsea Hospital.