Dec 29, 2017

National Archives: Thatcher refused to share flight with panda

Margaret Thatcher once refused to share a flight to Washington with London Zoo's giant panda, newly-released National Archives' files have revealed. Lord Zuckerman, president of the London Zoological Society, suggested that Chia Chia the panda could share the prime minister's Concorde flight in 1981. Mrs Thatcher said pandas were not "Happy omens" for politicians. Mrs Thatcher's private secretary, Clive Whitmore replied: "She has commented that she is not taking a panda with her - 'Pandas and politicians are not happy omens!"'. On a briefing note about the idea, she had written in blue felt tip pen: "I am not taking a panda with me".

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