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The prototype allowed users to compare their size with that of famous faces  such as Cheryl Cole, Kate Middleton and Adele

Hilary Mantel is turning her attention to Margaret Thatcher for her next book

Hilary Mantel turns to Lady Thatcher as inspiration for next book

Hilary Mantel, twice winner of the Man Booker Prize, who made her name dissecting the 16th-century court intrigues of King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell, is turning her attention to a more modern politician – Lady Thatcher.

Competition watchdog orders sell-off of nine private hospitals

The Competition Commission has ordered the sale of nine private hospitals, including London Bridge and Princess Grace, in an effort to smash the market dominance in Britain’s £5 billion private healthcare industry.

Yet another end of an era: 'The London Gazette', the UK’s most venerable publication, goes online

It's one of the oldest newspapers in the world, dating back to 1665

Rebekah Brooks sanctioned a payment of £4,000 to a public official back in 2006 for a picture of Prince William dressed as a Bond girl in a bikini

Rebekah Brooks ‘okayed’ £4,000 for bikini picture of Prince William, Old Bailey hears

Former News International executive Rebekah Brooks sanctioned a payment of £4,000 to a public official for a picture of Prince William dressed as a Bond girl in a bikini at a Sandhurst party, a jury has heard.

The Smiths frontman Morrissey

Morrissey backs Russell Brand's no vote call in tirade against British establishment

The singer began his impassioned rant by condemning hunting in Britain

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Radiator races to a 15-length victory under Ryan Moore at Lingfield on Wednesday

Joyeuse set for next step in Frankel family tradition

Frankel's half-sister Joyeuse has her first run since Royal Ascot in the Listed Dick Poole Fillies' Stakes at Salisbury.

CORSETED BROCADE BALLGOWN WITH TRAIN, FROM GILES DEACON ARCHIVE; LACE-STYLE COURT SHOES, £1,075, BY NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD, NICHOLASKIRKWOOD.COM; WINDSOR DIAMONDS AND AMETHYST NECKLACE, EARRINGS AND BRACELET, ALL FROM A SELECTION BY ASPREY, 167 NEW BOND STREET, LONDON W1, 020-7493 6767; ENGAGEMENT RING, MODEL'S OWN; BABY'S CHRISTENING GOWN, £70, BY JOHN LEWIS, JOHNLEWIS.COM

Mother of all exclusives: The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George* pose for a fashion shoot for The Independent (*OK, lookalikes, at least)

No one was more surprised than the staunchly republican Independent when we landed the scoop of the decade – the world’s first photoshoot with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. Take that, Kay Burley!

Mary Macleod

At last – equality in the aristocracy: After a change in royal succession rules, blue-blood daughters' hopes are up

Controversial proposals to allow first-born girls to inherit aristocratic titles look likely to be given the green light after senior cabinet sources indicated the move would not be opposed by the Government.

Five ways to avoid the Royal baby

The flock of royal correspondents who spent the best part of a fortnight outside St Mary's Hospital may have left their hard-earned spots of pavement behind, but in many parts of the country - and many media outlets - the quest for more, more, more baby news continues. What will the prince be called? Has it really got more hair than Wills? Is Kate already pumping iron to lose that disfiguring baby bump? If the sum total of coo-ing and clucking is driving you wild - here's five ways to turn the volume all the way down.

Crowds of people try to look at a notice formally announcing the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace

Royal baby: The FA joins chorus of congratulations for Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Football's governing body sends best wishes following birth of prince

6 December, 2012: Prince William stands next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London

Royal baby birth: We've all had our special moment, now let Kate and Will have theirs

After many, many hours of televised twaddle, we have a new Prince. 8lbs, 6 ounces. All new babies are, as Nancy Mitford so rightly pointed out, ‘deep down among the frills and lace,’ little more than, ‘a howling orange in a fine black wig’. Even little Princes who arrive third in line to the throne heralded by the clammy, effusive trumpetings of Nicholas Witchell and the excitable questioning by Kay Burley of excited people about just how excited they are.

Royal baby watch: BBC Reporter Simon McCoy admits Duchess of Cambridge labour coverage is 'not news'

The BBC’s Simon McCoy struck a chord with some viewers when he appeared to admit the relentless coverage of the royal baby outside the hospital was not infact news.

Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital in London on 6 December 2012 after she was admitted with severe morning sickness

In pictures: Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy

Since it became public knowledge that a royal baby was on its way, the Duchess of Cambridge has made a handful of public appearances as she battled severe morning sickness.

Cellulite, scars, tattoos, hair, bingo wings and bellies: It's summer - so feel free to get it all out

We're British, and so when we do see some of that yellow thing in the sky, we want to make the most of it. If you're offended by flesh - perhaps it's your problem

Royal baby: Five things we didn’t need to know about the pregnancy

Britain has turned Royal Baby crazy as the news is announced that The Duchess of Cambridge has finally gone into labour.

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
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Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice