Much has been written on the colossus of all of the 'special relationships' between Presidents and Prime Ministers: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Their mutual respect for one another is often captured in the most famous quotations: she was "the best man in England." [Reagan] and he was "the second most important man in my life" [Thatcher].
Serving as leaders of their country for the entire period of Reagan's Presidency, the two monetarist vanguards grew to admire each other as colleagues, friends and political soul mates. Reagan valued Thatcher's counsel so heavily, Nicholas Wapshott described her as "an unofficial, unappointed, but wholly effective, additional cabinet member."
Their friendship was cemented at an early meeting in the 1970s, and Thatcher was the first world leader to visit Reagan after his ascendance to the Presidency, assuring him "Your problems will be our problems and when you look for friends we shall be there."
Thatcher's moving eulogy to President Reagan in 2004 displayed how much the former Hollywood actor-turned California Governor had touched her professional and personal life:
"Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles - and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively."
"Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty and he did it without a shot being fired"
"To have achieved so much against so many odds and with such humour and humanity made Ronald Reagan a truly great American hero"
"Above all, I knew that I was talking to someone who instinctively felt and thought as I did."
Lady Thatcher has stated on numerous occasions that she is without doubt of the place President Reagan will occupy in history:
"As prime minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of all our lives. We talked regularly both before and after his presidency. And I have had time and cause to reflect on what made him a great president."
"[Reagan] did not suffer from the dismal plague of doubts which has assailed so many politicians in our times and which has rendered them incapable of clear decisions."
"millions of men and women who live in freedom today because of the policies he pursued."
Days after Lady Thatcher paid tribute to him in a speech for his 83rd birthday, President Reagan commented on the deep connection between the two:
"Throughout my life, I've always believed that life's path is determined by a Force more powerful than fate. I feel the Lord has brought us together for a profound purpose and that I have been richly blessed for having known you."
Just before leaving office, President Reagan commented:
"As I prepare to depart this office in January, I take considerable satisfaction in knowing that Margaret Thatcher will still reside at Number Ten, Downing Street, and will be there to offer President Bush [Snr.] her friendship, cooperation and advice."
While in 1989, months after leaving the Presidency he wrote a considerable tribute to the work of his transatlantic ally:
"this great lady has not only served her country well, she has served the free world well. She is truly a great statesman. So much so that I'll correct what I just said: She is a great stateswoman holding her own among all the statesmen of the world."
Today's unveiling is tribute to the common ground shared by both leaders and the great respect that has instilled in both countries. As so often, it is fitting to let Lady Thatcher have the last word:
"I believe when historians get down to their serious work, which will be long after I have finished with mine, they will judge that decade very favourably in both countries."
For more on the relationship between President Reagan and Lady Thatcher, follow the Centre for Policy Studies throughout today.