For a woman who lived such a full life, little humour or emotion echoed through the vast cathedral.

For a mother and grandma who passed away aged 87, there were few heart-rending anecdotes, laugh-out-loud stories, or hankie-clutching moments, although the clearly stressed-out George Osborne wished he’d packed one.

Despite being told by the Bishop of London that Margaret Thatcher’s ceremonial funeral with military honours was about friends and family remembering “the wife, mother and grandmother in the mythological figure” there wasn’t a single burst of spontaneous applause in the entire hour.

Behind all the pomp and circumstance it felt like 2,300 meticulously turned-out extras had been drafted into an Eleanor Rigby-style send-off at a council crem.

The second grandest funeral Britain had ever given to a non-royal, the grocer’s daughter who spent 11 years in Downing Street, was straight, serious and functional.

Cold almost. Maybe, considering who was inside the coffin which lay draped in the Union Flag on the St Paul’s altar, that was rather apt.

Or maybe, lurking at the back of the minds of those present, was the fact that this was the funeral only half the nation wanted and the other half was forced against its will to help pay for.

Watching from my seat overlooking the South Transept, there were a couple of intimate family moments.

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Her grandchildren Michael, 24, and Amanda, 19, walked ahead of her coffin, carrying cushions bearing her insignias of the Order of the Garter and Order of Merit.

Amanda also held her nerve well to give a fine reading from the King James Bible in her strong American accent.

The coffin, which sat beneath the majestic dome of St Paul’s yards from the Queen and Prince Philip, was topped by white roses bearing the handwritten note “Beloved Mother – always in our hearts” from her twin children Mark and Carol.

But the touching moments were few and far between as politics seemed to linger below the surface.

The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, talked in his sermon of the “storm of conflicting opinions” that surrounded her.

He also shared an anecdote about the time she grasped his wrist and warned him off the “fattening” duck pate at a City function.

But he couldn’t help scratching old wounds by saying: “As we all know, the manner of her leaving office was traumatic.”

It left her old assassins Lords Heseltine and Howe staring at their highly-polished shoes.

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On the front row sat ex-Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major, plus the current party leaders and their wives.

Brown sat next to Cherie Blair, separated only by perma-frost.

David Cameron entered the cathedral glad-handing well-wishers as though turning up for a Tory political rally.

His wife Samantha tapped his leg approvingly after he gave the second reading.

Behind Cameron sat all 32 members of his Cabinet.

Mr Osborne cried and Eric Pickles looked forlorn (although that may have been because he realised how long the wait was going to be for the reception vol-au-vents).

Eleven serving PMs were there including Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. But only two foreign heads of state – from Bulgaria and Lithuania.

In all, there were dignitaries from 170 countries, but the most high-profile funeral of a British politician since Churchill in 1965 was shorn of foreign A-listers.

Where were the world leaders of stature such as Obama, Merkel or even Hollande? Why no Bush?

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Dignitary: America's Henry Kissinger

Instead former US Secretaries of State George Shultz, James Baker and Henry Kissinger were there, which gave the foreign dignitaries’ bench the feeling of a reunion concert for an 80s right-wing pop group.

There were few towering figures from the arts, culture and sport, apart from Tory Lords Coe and Lloyd-Webber, which said much about her philistine nature.

There was, though, a selection of Tory-supporting celebrities.

We weren’t quite in Jim Davidson barrel-scraping territory, but with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Dame Shirley Bassey and Joan Collins we had the kind of Celebrity Come Dine With Me cast designed to make viewers watch through their fingers out of sheer horror.

Most of the congregation seemed to be made up of past and present Tory MPs, including more than 30 members of Thatcher’s old Cabinets.

It was a sea of grey and blue-rinsed heads. Like a Tory Party conference of old, with hats and medals thrown in.

Margaret Thatcher funeral
Sombre: Dame Shirley at the funeral

Naturally, for a leader who saw herself as a warrior queen, the armed services were well represented. And it all passed with military precision.

The debate will rage as to whether we should have afforded Thatcher this ceremonial jamboree, but there can be no argument that when we do it, we do it well.

There was St Paul’s with solemn bells and history etched on to every brick. The Queen’s presence made this a cap doff short of a state funeral.

No one can read the monarch’s body language, but she rarely looked up, making you wonder if she really wanted to be there.

But she played her part, waiting on the cathedral steps after to speak to Thatcher’s children and grandchildren.

When they played the final hymn, I Vow to Thee My Country, you couldn’t help but question the patriotic sentiment.

In most parts of the North, Thatcher’s death sparked joy or nothing but apathy, which suggests she only vowed to half her country.

As her coffin was carried out of St Paul’s and on to her cremation at Mortlake, loud cheers boomed from outside.

Had I been in many other British cathedrals, I’d have interpreted those cheers in the opposite way to the one they were intended.

Which probably sums up the legacy of the most divisive Prime Minister, or woman, this country is likely to see.