All the Queen's Ministers

Twice a week Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher goes before the British House of Commons to answer questions from the floor. Although the proceedings get heated at times, the opening moves of each Tuesday's Question Time are predictably dull: Thatcher lists her pending official engagements, then usually concludes, "And this evening I hope to have an audience of Her Majesty the Queen." Last week that routine statement nearly brought down the House. The opposition benches erupted in jeers, while Thatcher's Tories fired back with a defensive round of cheers for their leader.

The unusual outburst was triggered by a provocative newspaper article....

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