LONDON – Newly released British government files show that leaders and top diplomats were taken by surprise and deeply upset by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's fall from power in November 1990.
One of the first responses to Thatcher's removal as Conservative Party leader and prime minister came from former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who said in a note to Thatcher it was "worse than a death in the family."
He called her "one of the great figures of modern times" and said no one could understand how her fellow Conservatives could oust her.
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev wrote an affectionate note that for the first time referred to the iron-willed Thatcher as "Margaret."
He praised their "mutual understanding." Thatcher had famously concluded that Gorbachev was trustworthy.