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Editor-At-Large: The royal liggers should stick around in hard-up

Buckingham Palace has a terrible sense of timing. As the latest figures show unemployment reaching the highest level for 17 years, one group of plucky Brits can look forward to a spot of sun and fun in 2012, and, even better, they won't have to pay: the hard-up British taxpayer will. Lavish plans to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee were unveiled last week, just as the number of women out of work passed a million, just slightly more than the number of jobless young people. Given that Great Britain plc is staring at the very real possibility of a double-dip recession, and personal debt is higher than ever, you might think the bureaucrats who organise events for the Royal Family would have some sense of appropriateness, of adapting to straitened times. Sadly, not.

Hurricane Irene could hit Haiti and the US

Hurricane Irene cut power to more than a million people in Puerto Rico, downing trees and flooding streets today, and forecasters warned it could be a major storm as it threatens Florida and South Carolina by the end of the week.

The girl in the painting

The legal furore surrounding this watercolour has fascinated BBC viewers, but the story of the family it portrays is even more gripping, says Patrick Cockburn, grandson of the sitter

Amaranto, Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane, London W1

Sounds romantic, doesn't it, Amaranto? Somewhere between amorous and Esperanto, which is pretty apt for a low-lit, high-gloss new restaurant in an international hotel chain. But despite a setting as red and plumptiously padded as a Valentine's card, we didn't find much romance in the air in this swishy Italian newcomer on Park Lane, part of the lavishly refurbished (to the tune of £125m) Four Seasons Hotel.

Dramatic rescue as race hit by wild weather

A distress signal from the 60-foot yacht BT in the Transat Jacques Vabre sent a French navy frigate, with a helicopter onboard, racing to the rescue of Sebastien Josse and Jean-Francois Cuzon today as the Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Falmouth also swung into action. The pair was lifted off by a Portuguese Air Force helicopter about eight hours later and was being flown to the Lajes Field air force base of Terceira in the Azores.

More headlines

Racing has always attracted tricksters and conmen

Who would be foolish enough to subscribe to a tipping service? Surely, any tipster who could rake in the winnings at the rate that D&E Associates claimed in its advertisements should be bronzing themselves in the Bahamas and not flogging "inside information" to the public.

The funky legacy of Grace's island

As disco died in the late Seventies, no one saw a Caribbean backwater as the new home of dance. Then Ms Jones, and Sly and Robbie, came.