It was a privilege to have attended Margaret Thatcher's funeral at St Pauls yesterday, to have shared with her family their sorrow at her death, and to have taken part in the tribute to her life.
I doubt whether any other politician will be remembered in this way in my lifetime. Driving to St Pauls in the coach with my cabinet colleagues and looking at the crowds along the route - 90 minutes before the service began - I asked myself whether any of today's politicians would generate a similar turnout. Some of those along the route were indeed no fans of hers, and she would have been relaxed about that. But the huge majority had taken the trouble to come along out of affection and respect.
The organisation of the event was perfect - all those involved knew exactly what their role was and mercifully there was no breach of security to divert focus away from the funeral.
The Bishop of London's address was perfectly pitched - while he said he would not embark on a eulogy, Margaret's friends and family would have been delighted with what he said about her philosophy and values. There was a neat reference to her oft quoted question "Is he one of us?" by saying that, in death, everyone is one of us. Margaret's judgement in asking for a religious address at her funeral instead of a political one was spot on.
Once inside St Pauls, we knew nothing of what was happening outside. But the cheers from the crowd were clearly audible as the coffin left the cathedral - and that was a moving moment.
After the funeral, there were two receptions. What struck me, particularly at the first for guests from overseas, was the reach of her influence and the awe in which she was held by statesmen and women of other countries.