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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.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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