News Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and ex-wife Mariam Aziz, pictured in 1999

A former international badminton player who became a bodyguard and close friend to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei abused her position to steal diamonds worth £11.6m from her “extremely wealthy” employer, a court heard yesterday.

Kelly Clarkson will face difficulties if she wants to take a ring which once belonged to Jane Austen out of the UK.

American Idol Kelly Clarkson faces export ban from UK Government over Jane Austen ring

The Government has stepped in to stop US singer Kelly Clarkson taking a gold and turquoise ring once owned by Jane Austen out of the country.

Convicted rapist Adam Mark escapes from Leyhill prison

Police are hunting a rapist who has absconded from prison.

Raja Harinder Singh Brar

The maharaja, the faked will and a 24-year wait for a £3bn inheritance

It is a fortune fit for a maharaja – the former Maharaja of Faridkot, Harinder Singh Brar, to be exact. And after a two-decade legal battle, a court in northern India has ruled that Brar’s will was forged, allowing his two daughters to inherit his vast £2.86bn legacy.

€100m Cannes jewel heist 'one of biggest ever'

The Carlton Hotel was a setting for Alfred Hitchcocks’s 1955 movie 'To Catch a Thief'

Carroll singer: the Welsh soprano Fflur Wyn is set to take the lead role in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'

Why creating the perfect Alice is no tea party

Michael Volpe continues his monthly dispatch on staging a world premiere

Lev Leviev

Meet Lev Leviev, the billionaire who lost his sparkle in Cannes jewellery heist

The Carlton Intercontinental hotel on the exclusive Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes was the setting for an extraordinarily brazen diamond heist at the weekend, in which a lone gunman strolled into a jewellery exhibition taking place at the hotel and stuffed a suitcase with millions of pounds worth of Leviev diamonds before walking out. The owner of Leviev diamonds, Lev Leviev, is yet to comment on the theft. Apart from being a billionaire with an amazingly alliterative name,  just who is this wronged bling merchant?

€100m Cannes jewel heist 'one of biggest ever'

The Carlton Hotel was a setting for Alfred Hitchcocks’s 1955 movie 'To Catch a Thief'

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, 46, pleaded guilty to theft charges on Friday

Former Tiffany executive admits stealing over $2million worth of jewellery

'I knew it was illegal to steal, and I did so regardless… I'm very sorry', she told a judge

Fugitives Adrian Albrecht, left, and Milan Poparovic who escaped from a Swiss prison on Thursday

Pink Panther jewel thief breaks out of Swiss jail

Notorious gang behind robberies worth £200m used ladder to climb over prison fence

Opera Holland Park - I gioielli della Madonna dir Martin Lloyd-Evans

Classical review: I gioielli della Madonna, Opera Holland Park, London

The action is grittier, the stakes (and skirts) raised higher, and the orchestral noises louder than anything else of its time: if Puccini’s realist operas are verismo then Wolf-Ferrari’s 1911 I gioielli della Madonna is verissimo.

Review: The Engagements, By J Courtney Sullivan

Narratives with the ring of truth

Faye Jones said that she feared for her life

Schoolgirl who ran away with Turkish waiter ‘thought she was going to die’ on the run

Faye Jones, 16, apologises for what she put her family through

iStyle: Aussie rules

Considering the selling points of Australia include its preponderance of sunshine and sandy shores, not to mention the strong economy and high quality of life, it’s little wonder that our friends down under are so skilled at creating covetable swimwear.

1966 British actor Christopher Lee in his most famous role, that of Bram Stoker's Dracula.jpeg

‘Vampire' graveyard? Heads placed between legs of decapitated skeletons found in Poland

Rearrangement indicates ancient execution rituals designed to ensure the dead do not return to life, say archaeologists

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee