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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.

Princess Lilian of Sweden

Hejdå to Sweden's Welsh-born Princess Lilian, who has died aged 97

Sweden’s Princess Lilian captured the heart of a prince – and then an entire nation

Renters paid a total of £7.7 billion more in 2012 than in 2008

The number of private renters in England rose to 3.8 million in 2012, an increase of 23% since 2008, says new report

It's too hard to spend a penny these days. Let's follow Canada and scrap them

All the penny serves for is an unwanted reminder of our financial mess

Win a tailor-made trip to Graubünden, Switzerland’s No. 1 holiday destination

Discover Swiss alpine holidays - your way

Kim Jong-un is honoured to meet Dennis Rodman

The Last Word: Just a slam-dunk away from the goal of World Peace as Kim Jong-un becomes friends with Dennis Rodman

Some day we’ll see Terry at the Home Office, Beckham in the Elysée Palace

The Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona

What makes a cult building?

Every city in the world is commissioning architects to design iconic architecture – a production line of ever flashier-looking objects of grim bread-and-circuses banality. Why does it takes a tramp-like Catalonian vegetarian, and a young Italian with Mussolini on his mind to remind us that architecture – really engrossing architecture – is worthy of cult worship.

Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner, addresses reporters during a news conference held near Versailles

'Brutal' Richard's I's 'lion' heart was soaked in holy balm to ease his passage into heaven

Autopsy of 12th-century monarchy reveals heart embalmed in purifying frankincense

Amsterdam plans sober party for Dutch inauguration

The Dutch capital is known for boozy stag nights and pot-smoking tourists. But for what could be the nation's party of the decade — the abdication of Queen Beatrix and accession to the throne of her son Willem-Alexander — Amsterdam wants to keep things low key.

January 31, 2013: A man holds a placard depicting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and reading

Spain's crisis could not have come at a worse moment - for her and for Europe

If our Prime Minister thinks he's having a hard time, he should put himself in the position of his Spanish counterpart. That country's misery affects us all

6% of people want to be buried in their shed

New report reveals surprising shed statistics as 2013 Shed of the Year competition is officially launched

Katherine Manley as Creusa;

Medea, Coliseum, London

David McVicar’s production of Charpentier’s Médée – or Medea, in Christopher Cowell‘s felicitously idiomatic translation – is the most brilliant show to have graced the Coliseum in years. It’s by turns bold and brash – how could it not be, given the tabloid luridness of its subject matter? – and it’s also irresistibly seductive, as befits one of French Baroque music’s most ravishing scores which, after three centuries, is getting its first professional British staging.

Modern classic: New York’s NoMad hotel is the latest to mix traditional style with contemporary touches

Juliet Kinsman: Ancient and modern make the perfect bedfellows

Something to Declare

Snowdrop season: Can you tell your 'Primrose Warburg' from your 'Spindlestone Surprise'?

The craze for snowdrops continues, with more and more gardens opening in February to show off their collections. I like snowdrops en masse and some of the best are in old gardens where the flowers have been left to their own devices to spread, often in areas some little way from the house. That's how it is at Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire, which I visited for the first time this month.

Doctor Who goes 3D for its 50th anniversary

Technology has finally caught up with Doctor Who, which is to be screened in 3D for its 50th anniversary later this year.

Pentillie Castle restoration: Archaeologist finds 'body of man who built it' during excavation

Human remains discovered at a stately home are believed to be those of the man that built it - ordering that he be buried in his best clothes with his pipe as he waited for the afterlife.

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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 15 May 2015
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral