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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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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
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filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game