Margaret Thatcher And The Panda Bear


There is so much to enjoy in Britain’s National Archives!

Mrs. Thatcher reacted to a letter asking to fly a panda in the back of her Concorde in 1981. CreditCrown copyright, via National Archives UK

I’m not taking a panda with me,” Mrs. Thatcher scribbled on a memo about the financial struggles of London Zoo. “Pandas and politicians are not happy omens!”

The note came after the president of the zoo, Lord Zuckerman, contacted Mrs. Thatcher through a cabinet minister with a plea for financial help. Lord Zuckerman proposed that Mrs. Thatcher take a panda “in the back of her Concorde” on her first visit with President Ronald Reagan.

The trip would have been a chance for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington to borrow London’s male panda to mate with its female panda. But Mrs. Thatcher was having none of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s