I had rather lost touch with Cheryl Gillan of late, but a number of years ago we were all good family friends and in contact quite a lot. She was a great lady, and not at all how you'd tend to pigeon-hole a Tory woman Cabinet minister.
First of all, though obviously a good politician in very many ways - and canny with it** - she was not (how shall we put this) any kind of ideologue. In fact, I can't recall her offering a political opinion, ever. But, quite genuinely, that's no fatal criticism for someone representing a nice county seat on behalf of the distinctly non-doctrinaire Conservative Party. And for a Cabinet Minister? Well, she was David Cameron's neighbour.
Here's a story that I'm pretty sure she wouldn't object to being told. We were once on a delegation overseas, and a young lady of our number had been getting steadily more annoying as the days went on. Eventually one evening, Cheryl came up to a few of us chaps who were supping our drinks in the hotel bar, and said: "The trouble with that girl is ... So - which of you young blades is going upstairs to give her a good seeing-to?!"
A Grande Dame - and a grand dame.
** e.g., she very craftily bagged the best corner office in Portcullis House when it first opened - a magnificent view of Westminster & the Thames. To her, that was politics!