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Osborne Says Music and Sermon Made Him Cry at Funeral

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he cried during Margaret Thatcher’s funeral last week after being overcome by a combination of the Bishop of London’s sermon and the choral music.

“Weeping is putting it a bit strongly,” Osborne told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” show, when asked about television pictures that showed tears on his cheeks. “I welled up a bit because I thought it was very emotional and moving and at times overwhelming.”

The former Conservative prime minister’s funeral in St. Paul’s Cathedral on April 17 featured troops lining the route of her coffin through London and music by Brahms, Purcell and Parry. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, focused in his address on Thatcher’s faith and marriage, rather than her politics.

“The sermon and the music made for a very, very powerful and emotional moment,” Osborne said, before making light of the issue. “Occasionally I get a tear in my eye. Sometimes just when I listen to the ‘Today’ program headlines.”

The Conservative chancellor’s opposite number in the House of Commons, Ed Balls from the Labour Party, has said he’s given to crying during the BBC television program “Antiques Roadshow.”

“You know, when someone comes in with some family heirloom and it’s often the last bit in the program,” Balls was cited as telling Total Politics magazine in 2011. “And the expert says: ‘Do you know how much this is worth? It’s valued at X thousand pounds.’ And they say, ‘I’m amazed it’s worth that much, but it means more to me than money.’ Incredibly emotional.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net; Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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