Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appeared on television recently making instant coffee in her kitchen. The scene was part of a program to mark the 250th anniversary of 10 Downing Street as the residence of Britain's prime minister.
``It's modest compared with houses of other prime ministers,'' Mrs. Thatcher said. ``But, you know, history matters more than grandeur and we have the history.''
Thatcher complained about the kitchen during the two-part program. ``There's no place where you can get a small table in,'' she said while making what she called her usual breakfast of black coffee, a dose of vitamin C, and water.
Victorian leader Benjamin Disraeli disliked the place and was persuaded to stay the night only when ill health made being near other government offices and the Parliament easier for him.
The wife of Herbert Asquith, Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916, called it ``liver-colored and squalid.'' The walls were reinforced to withstand bombs during World War II but Winston Churchill still had to spend some time in a nearby shelter.