Life and Style

Empress Eugénie's influence on fashion came very much from her far from ordinary  life, says Alexander Fury

Saxon angle: Ugo Moyne, demoted by England this week, scores a try

Robshaw insists Quins must not waste qualification

Harlequins 47 Connacht 8

Yet by comparison with Mark McCall of Saracens and Richard Cockerill of Leicester, the urbane O’Shea is feeling laid-back to the point of horizontalism

Weekend Preview: Coaches face test of cool as European tensions rise

If some of the leading referees in the British Isles are currently feeling a strange burning sensation somewhere in the region of the tympanic membrane – the eardrum, in layman's terms – they had better prepare themselves for a conflagration.

In the money:Harlequins’ Ugo Monye evades a tackle from Zebre’s Giovanbattista Venditti (left)

Evans on target as Quins earn stripes

Harlequins 53 Zebre 5: Londoners overwhelm Zebre to take them to brink of quarter-finals

Dejected Sale Sharks players facing defeat against Toulon on Saturday

Quins fly lonely flag as English clubs face more humiliation in Europe

It has not been a happy time for English clubs in Europe – in the last three Heineken Cup campaigns, the Premiership fraternity have filled only four of the 24 quarter-final places available – and if results go the wrong way this weekend, another humiliation will be on the cards.

'Tough afternoon' awaits Irish with visit of Quins

"A thorough examination" awaits London Irish when Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins visit the Madejski Stadium, according to their director of rugby Brian Smith.

Putting on the ritz: Ben Botica of Harlequins breaks with the ball during their 40-13 victory over Biarritz at the Stoop last night

Botica adds boot to battering of Biarritz

Harlequins 40 Biarritz 13: Quins tear French side apart in second half but lose Evans to injury

Water baby: Laura and her daughter

On The Road: A dip in the sea in the south of France

Our first family holiday was anything but a holiday, I realised, at 4am in a turquoise-walled suite in the South of France, where the peace was broken at regular intervals by a wailing baby. Correction: my wailing baby. While we were trying to introduce her to a new routine, it seemed that she was breaking us into a completely new way of being, a holiday where we couldn't relax, even when she was sleeping.

Geri Halliwell famously donned red, white and blue in the late nineties, perhaps taking it a little too far

Ready To Wear: I'm coming over all red, white and blue and – what's more – I like it

While the world at large has been moaning about the weather which, admittedly, has been remarkably inclement, not to mention the remarkable lack of security at the Olympics, something remarkably strange has been happening to my wardrobe. "You're wearing red, white and blue," says my friend and I realise that there's no arguing with her.

André Darrigade sprints to victory on stage one of the 1958 Tour de France; Mark Cavendish wins this year's second stage

André Darrigade: 'I accept my fate. Cavendish is certain to overtake me'

If Brit wins today's sprint stage, he equals André Darrigade's record of 22 stage victories. Alasdair Fotheringham tracks down 83-year-old who is happy to hand over his crown

Chris Robshaw and his Harlequins team-mates get their hands on the Premiership trophy

Harlequins handed kind Heineken Cup draw

English champions Harlequins have been given a kind draw for the group stages of next season's Heineken Cup.

It was a disappointing night for Jonny Wilkinson and Toulon

Biarritz's Yachvili beats Wilkinson in battle of the boot

Toulon 18 Biarritz 21

All eyes may be on Jonny Wilkinson (left) of Toulon but the key figure at the Stoop is likely to be Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvili

Yachvili and Biarritz look to ruin Wilkinson's Amlin homecoming

The last time Jonny Wilkinson and Iain Balshaw appeared together on a rectangle of mud down Twickenham way, they were overshadowed by a swaggering newcomer by the name of Danny Cipriani as England put 33 points on Ireland and finished second in the 2008 Six Nations. The two red-rose oldsters will be back in town this evening for the Amlin Challenge Cup final between Biarritz and Toulon at the Stoop and while Wilkinson is being given the top-of-the-bill treatment, they could easily find themselves marginalised again.

Heavy duty: Census Johnston of Toulouse may be a nutritionist's nightmare but the Samoan is also the top tighthead prop at Europe's biggest club

David Flatman: Performance is required, not a generation of gym junkies

Your hunger and passion will only see you through the opening exchanges

Dean Richards once teased Dave Strettle about his physique, calling him the 'pirate's dream - a sunken chest'

Strettle finds humour lifts the burden of expectation

Sarries face a talented Clermont today but Farrell knows how to foster team spirit

France ring changes for Wales clash

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made five changes and one positional switch for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

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In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

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A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

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Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

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He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

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Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected