Life and Style

First of all, a caveat: the clothes we see in 16th-century portraits aren't fashion. At least, not to our eyes. They're court costume – emphasis on the costume. It's difficult to reconcile the lavishly slashed, brocaded and jewel-bedecked gowns of lustrous Renaissance portraiture with our jeans-and-T-shirt culture, or even with the grander creations on the international catwalks.

Simon Kelner: Does a ribbon on the lapel compromise its wearer?

In these pages yesterday, Justin Byam Shaw, a distinguished member of the boss class here at i, looked through one end of the telescope at that bastion of British class and privilege, the honours system.

Charles may lose his global role when king

Prince Charles could be stripped of the title of Head of the Commonwealth when he becomes King, under radical plans set out in a book published to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Last Night's Viewing: Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones, BBC1
The Meat Market: Inside Smithfield, BBC2

Here's a nice idea. Britain's Lost Routes, a four-part series about the historical arteries of the country, following the trail of ancient pathways long ago overgrown by technological progress and changing priorities. As a way of cutting a course across the landscape it has a lot going for it, a point-to-point that touches on topology and culture and regional difference.

The map, held in the British Museum

Drawn in invisible ink, is this the site of Walter Raleigh's lost colony?

Clue discovered concealed in Elizabethan map of North America

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Shakespeare's lesson in race relations

Today is St George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday. Both symbolise a global and expansive sensibility and rebut those other characteristics one associates with England – twitchiness, arrogance, snobbery and supremacy. St George's mother was from Syria or Palestine, his father was Roman. Shakespeare, who married a local Warwickshire woman, wrote so perceptively and eloquently about cross-cultural and inter-racial relationships that no playwright since has ever come near.

Matthew Bell: The curtsy is fighting for its very life

Our writer bows to the convention of bobbing to the Queen

Body found after dinghy off Whitstable capsized

A body found after a dinghy capsized in the sea has sparked a police investigation.

Courtiers, By Lucy Worsley

If tittle-tattle from the sober court of Elizabeth II is oddly compelling, it is watery stuff compared to her 18th century forebears.

Queen hails wartime codebreakers

The Queen today hailed Britain's Second World War codebreakers whose vital work remained unknown for decades.

A travel bill fit for a Queen: Middle East flights cost £356,000

The Queen last year reduced her cost to the British taxpayer by £1.8m, despite a substantial rise in the amount spent on royal travel.

Cost of monarchy down by £1.8m

The Queen's official expenditure decreased by 5.3% from £33.9 million in 2009/10 to £32.1 million in 2010/11 according to the royal public finances annual report.

Video: Queen makes rare Number 10 visit

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Number 10 to attend a lunch to celebrate the Prince's recent 90th birthday.

Royals to mark Duke's 90th birthday

The Royal Family will come together today to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday at a special service of thanksgiving.

Queen hands Navy title to Philip

The Queen made the Duke of Edinburgh the Lord High Admiral of the Navy today to mark his 90th birthday.

Queen opens fourth Welsh Assembly session

The Queen will officially open the fourth session of the National Assembly for Wales today.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz