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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.

The Duke of Buccleuch is Europe's largest landowner with holdings valued at more than £1bn

Imagine a feudal country where 432 families own half the land. Welcome to Scotland

The country's vast estates are under threat of being broken up and sold to small farmers. The laird's response? Get off our land

Buckingham Palace has just opened for summer visits but staff will be working on zero-hours contracts

Buckingham Palace employs summer staff on 'zero-hours' contracts

Part-time staff are not guaranteed any hours but have to agree not to work for anyone else

Dawn Approach (left) defeats Toronado to win the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month

Glorious Goodwood: Declaration Of War can spike big guns in Sussex Stakes 'Duel on the Downs'

O'Brien four-year-old offers solid value against younger rivals Toronado and Dawn Approach

Squadron Leader Peter Tunstall, the cooler king of Colditz who failed to get the recognition he deserved

His death has raised questions about why he was never honoured

Lee Westwood said he needed his A game yesterday to win

The Open 2013: Major 'positives' for Lee Westwood but Tiger Woods speeds to the excuses

Westwood let a two-shot lead slip away as Phil Mickelson pulls-off the 'best round of my career'

Phil Mickelson plays out of the green-side bunker on the 15th

The Open 2013: Phil Mickelson fancies double Scotch

American believes he’s found secret that will  enable him to back up Castle Stuart victory

A woman cools her foot in a fountain during hot weather in Nottingham, central England May 8, 2008. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Heatwave, what heatwave? Hanging out in Britain's coldest spots

It's not all sweat and sweltering - from Ceredigion to Cornwall, find out what you could be up to in out of the heat

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Our MPs were made of sterner stuff in the 17th century

The ‘closest thing’ to a CEO, supposed Mr Nye, was the ‘Secretary and Keeper of the Records’

Richard Hawley received a nomination for Best Male, five years after his last nomination

Gig review: Richard Hawley, Somerset House, London

Dressed in black and protected by fifties-style shades, Richard Hawley explains the inspiration behind 'Don't Stare At The Sun': the mundane act of taking his youngest son kite flying. “What made it interesting was I was off me head on fucking acid”.

Palladio’s Palazzo Barbaran da Porto

Slice of the City: Vicenza - a trove of architectural treasures

Palladio’s grand buildings are a feature of this northern Italian city

The Blagger's Guide To: Historical fiction

All you need to know about the hottest literary topic of the week

The Beatles made it into The Feeling's 12-minute medley of British rock’s greatest achievements

The Beatles and Blur - but no Oasis or Rolling Stones - for the Queen's 12 minutes of British pop

The Feeling will perform the medley at Buckingham Palace this weekend

Wimbledon 2013 Men's Final: It was a game of clichés for the men in the commentary box

Until play actually started the BBC must have been quietly satisfied with its Wimbledon coverage. Or at least relieved. With an hour or so gone and virtually the whole country watching, at least none of their commentators had triggered a Twitter-storm – as John Inverdale had done the day before with his less-than-chivalrous remarks about Marion Bartoli and the hitherto unexplored Appearance/Trying Really Hard nexus.

Details of private military funeral to be held for murdered Woolwich soldier Lee Rigby announced

Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed near his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London in May, will be given a private military funeral in Greater Manchester on 12 July.

Work to refurbish House of Lords toilets could cost up to £100,000

Work to refurbish House of Lords toilets could cost up to £100,000

Up to £100,000 will be spent sprucing up two toilets in the House of Lords, it has been revealed.

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Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

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Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
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videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
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A view of today's Spanish papers
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The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
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nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
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High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
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Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

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The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London