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Janet Street-Porter 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.