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.

Royal baby front pages - from Private Eye to 'The Son'

The front pages of every national newspaper on Tuesday led with the news that the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to the royal baby.

Stephen Fry has paid tribute to Britain's quirky birth traditions following the arrival of the Prince of Cambridge

Royal baby: Stephen Fry salutes Britain's 'bonkers' birth traditions

TV star Stephen Fry paid tribute to Britain's "bonkers" birth traditions today as the world celebrated the new royal arrival.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Royal baby: Three heirs to the throne in line for first time in 119 years - and the fact it's a boy avoids gender issue

Royal baby will be heir presumptive, but a girl might still have faced obstacles from the Commonwealth

Flower power: Prince Charles, supports alternative therapies

He's at it again: Prince Charles accused of lobbying Health Secretary over homeopathy

Prince Charles has apparently been lobbying Jeremy Hunt about the controversial alternative treatment, much to the annoyance of Labour MPs

King Albert II and Queen Paola in Liège yesterday

The Belgian King’s brief? Unite a divided nation

The new Belgian monarch is a former fighter pilot – and he will have a scrap on his hands trying to maintain the unity of this hybrid country

In pictures: HMS Queen Elizabeth (the Royal Navy's largest ship) nears completion

Completed carrier will be amongst the second largest class of warships in the world

TV review: Princess Diana's Dresses: the Auction, Channel 4

"Every sequin, stitch and seam provides a window on to her short but extraordinary life," said the voiceover at the beginning of Princess Diana's Dresses: the Auction, an instructively besotted film about the sale of 10 of Diana's frocks. "These dresses," it had already promised, "hold the key to understanding Diana as never before." An hour later, with your understanding of Diana unchanged by a single stitch, any doubt about that claim had hardened into certainty.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Our MPs were made of sterner stuff in the 17th century

The ‘closest thing’ to a CEO, supposed Mr Nye, was the ‘Secretary and Keeper of the Records’

The Prince of Wales greets wellwishers in the Cornish resort of Bude yesterday as he and the Duchess of Cornwall start their annual three-day tour of Devon and Cornwall

Senior aide William Nye defends Prince Charles over tax-exempt status for Duchy of Cornwall estate

William Nye claims Duchy of Cornwall’s £847m property empire is a ‘force for social good’

Prince Charles' letters to stay secret, but judge condemns ministerial veto

The Attorney General Dominic Grieve blocked the publication of letters from the Prince of Wales to MPs

Judges uphold block on Prince Charles letters to Government ministers

Three High Court judges have refused to overturn a decision blocking the disclosure of correspondence written by the Prince of Wales to Government ministers, as they believe it could undermine his ability to fulfil his duties as King.

Doyle baron: James Doyle rides Al Kazeem to victory in the Eclipse Stakes

Al Kazeem primed for Arc raid after Eclipse triumph

The horse who has emerged as the discovery of the season continued his harvest of top prizes yesterday. Al Kazeem's decisive success in the Eclipse Stakes, his third in a row at Group 1 level, confirmed him as Britain's best middle-distance performer and a most credible candidate for the end-of-year showdown in the division, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His purposeful progress up the rankings is now there in the formbook; his place in public affection has been slower to come but his charisma must surely now be acknowledged.

Tactical speed can win battle for War

Even the bitter certainty that they will occasionally put a rider into intensive care is a reflection on the essential unpredictability of thoroughbreds.

Honda Motor’s humanoid robot Asimo at the Miraikan Museum in Tokyo

World’s best-loved robot flunks its first proper job: Asimo flustered by visitors’ gestures and questions while working as museum guide

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: one of Japan’s top science museums has borrowed Honda Motor’s iconic spaceman robot, Asimo, as a guide. But the confused bot is struggling to distinguish between people raising their hands to ask a question and just taking photos.

Three men deny 'Oompa Loompa' attack at Norwich kebab shop

One man was left with cuts and bruises after the alleged attack in the Prince of Wales Road nightclub district

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

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
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

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

On the margins

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'