News

While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Buckingham Palace is not immune to Government policy of making money go further

We are not amused: MPs tell Queen to rein in her spending as she reaches final million

Royal Household must ‘do more with less’, say MPs after review of finances

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

How to 'Sherlock' your degree: The art of building a memory palace

In the current BBC series, Sherlock Holmes solves his crimes as much through his powers of recall as deduction. Here's how to apply them to your degree

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc's 200th birthday: Architect celebrated in Google doodle

Viollet-le-Duc dominates 19th-century theories of architectural restoration.

Protests in Vienna against the Academics' Ball

Thousands join protests in Vienna against Austrian ball for 'far-right'

Freedom Party event welcomed Marine le Pen and 'extremists'

The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo, book review: 'The beheaded queen who continues to bewitch and bother'

I hadn't realised – until I read this book – how much work Henry VIII's marital problems caused the stonemasons of Hampton Court. After years of carving the letters H&C all over the place, Henry got rid of Catherine of Aragon, so the Cs had to be reworked as As. But, no sooner was the last A in place than Anne Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill and the As had to become Js to suit Jane Seymour, who promptly died in childbirth. And there were still three more queens to go, so, lots more chiseling, presumably.

Valérie Trierweiler left hospital in Paris yesterday, a week after reports emerged that her partner, President François Hollande, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet

Francois Hollande told Valerie Trierweiler during hospital visit: 'I need more time'

French press reports President likely to choose actress Julie Gayet and ask First Lady to leave Elysee Palace

Amateur treasure hunters uncovered more than 73,000 archaeological finds in 2013

Notable hauls include a rare hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins

Reporters raise their hands during French President Francois Hollande's annual news conference

Hollandaise sauce? I’m not sure the British public care for it

The status of Trierweiler, who is paid for by the French taxpayer, is a legitimate matter for enquiry. The rest isn't

Alexandra Bastedo: Co-star of the late-1960s science fiction espionage series 'The Champions' who went on to run an animal sanctuary

Alexandra Bastedo was an actress who came to fame as the secret agent Sharron Macready in the television series The Champions, directed by Cyril Frankel, which ran for 30 episodes during the late 1960s. For the last 30 years she had run an animal sanctuary.

A statue of Alexander the Great in the northern Greek city of Salonica. Scientists believe they may have solved the 2000 year old mystery of how the ruler died

Mystery of Alexander the Great's death solved? Ruler was 'killed by toxic wine' claim scientists

A leading toxicologist has said that Alexander the Great may have died after drinking wine made from a poisonous plant that would have cause a slow and painful death

Chatham dockyard's bid for Unesco World Heritage Site status is blocked

Kent dockyard loses out to Lake District national park as UK's next world heritage site

CES Las Vegas 2014: How to travel with technology

David Phelan discovers how to survive a Las Vegas trade show

And relax: modern resorts are expanding their spa options
Maria Gavrilova reads with Arina Ochotnikova, 3, at the Azbuka Foundation Nursery in Richmond

Teaching in tongues: the bilingual pre-school tapping new potential

Introducing the first officially accredited Russian-speaking bilingual nursery in Britain

James Gray enjoys lunch at The Holiday Inn in Sutton with Marian and John Cunningham

Page 3 Profile: James Gray, Christmas diner

He looks like he’s enjoying a nice Christmas dinner

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there