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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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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
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Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
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Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
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Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
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Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?