News Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords, alongside Prince Charles

A bookmaker has stopped taking bets on the Queen announcing her abdication this year after a large wager was placed in Windsor.

According to experts, Prince Charles may be a more outspoken and controversial monarch than his mother

'Gentle succession' underway as Prince Charles prepares to assume some of his mother's royal duties - and maybe more of an activist role

Constitutional experts believe Charles could be preparing to become a more "controversial" monarch

Rising star: Sire De Grugy will contest the Queen Mother Champion Chase

Sire De Grugy leaps into Cheltenham contention

Faint praise has been Sire De Grugy’s lot so far this season, but surely it must be time to acknowledge that he is a two-mile chaser of the highest order, with or without the damning shadow of Sprinter Sacre.

Celebrities who supported the Independent's elephant appeal with Space for Giants

Who supports our elephant campaign?

From David Cameron to Stephen Fry to Damian Lewis, politicians, actors, musicians and artists have supported our elephant appeal. Check out our interactive graphic to see what they said.

Sir Derek Jacobi will sit for a live sculpture

Backstage: Busted! Sir Derek Jacobi to sit for live sculpture

One of the most interesting dates in the diary next week will see Frances Segelman bring theatre to the world of sculpture. The artist is due to sculpt a bust of Sir Derek Jacobi in front of a live audience, in just two hours.

Granted, the Queen probably isn’t the easiest to buy for. What would one bestow upon the monarch that has it all?

The bizarre presents gifted to the Royal Family in 2013: Including a gingerbread Cathedral, a gnome and an Oyster Card

Granted, the royals probably aren't the easiest to buy for. But a book called Your Arms Remind Me of Pork Luncheon Meat? Really?

Call of the wild: An international conference in London next month will address elephant poaching

Charity Appeal: A fantastic result – and the campaign will not stop here

This year's charity appeal has raised more than £300,000 for our partner charity, Space for Giants, exceeding last year's total of around £250,000. We are within sight of breaking the record for a charity appeal by this newspaper – £356,000. So more donations would be appreciated.

Prince William will study agricultural management at college

Helicopters to ploughshares: Prince William returns to student life

Prince will study agricultural management at Cambridge for 10 weeks

Prince William will study agricultural management at college

Prince William must mix with 'ordinary students' at Cambridge, insists Mary Beard

William set to spend 10 weeks at Cambridge studying agricultural management

Prince William recently established United for Wildlife, an alliance of seven leading conservation bodies, to try to end poaching

Prince William to return to college

Second in line to the throne will be studying agricultural management

Barry Geraghty aboard Sprinter Sacre before he was pulled up after the seventh of the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton

Sprinter Sacre pulled up with 'irregular heartbeat' as Sire De Grugy wins the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton

The favourite was pulled up by jockey Barry Geraghty after the seventh on his comeback

The Archbishop of Westminster, Justin Welby

Archbishop of Westminster prays for Middle East Christians 'who suffer for their faith'

For many going to church is an act of life-risking bravery, he tells Christmas worshippers

Lord Carey attacked Western governments for being “strangely and inexplicably reluctant to confront” the situation in the Middle East

Christians are under pressure to keep quiet about their faith, says former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey

Christians are under pressure to be “silent about their faith” and display “increasing timidity” about admitting they have a faith at work, according to Lord Carey.

Prince Charles in a right royal selfie

Photo features the Prince of Wales looking a tad confused by it all

The “Someone Like You” singer beamed as she received her Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace this morning, making her full title Miss Adele Adkins MBE

Arise, Miss Adele Adkins MBE: singer honoured by Prince Charles

The 'Someone Like You' singer received Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace this morning

Christians face ‘organised persecution’ from Islamists in Middle East, says Prince Charles

Victims and family members of those being 'attacked' told the Prince about their experiences in the region

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

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A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
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Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

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From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'