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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peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities