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.

Diary: Piers: I'm through with Hugh

As a one-time golfing chum of Hugh Grant, the celebrated swordsman and saviour of celebrity privacy, I was naturally overjoyed to hear him phoning this very office to speak with our honoured guest, the Radio 5 Live presenter Richard Bacon, during his broadcast from The Independent this week.

Queen visits Croke Park stadium

The Queen took centre stage at Dublin's iconic Croke Park gaelic football and hurling stadium today in a historic new act of Anglo-Irish reconciliation.

Mary Ann Sieghart: Long live the king – if he's harmless

If Charles doesn't wind his neck in, the public won't put up with him. The institution is only there by public consent

The state of the nation, 2011

So what, exactly, does the royal wedding tell us about modern Britain, the monarchy and us? Cole Moreton joins the celebrating hordes to find out

Paul Vallely: The monarchy moves in mysterious ways

In enjoying the royal wedding, secretly or overtly, we were honouring a cornerstone of our national identity

Royal succession changes 'will take time'

It will "take some time" to change royal succession rules to allow a first-born daughter to take the throne, Prime Minister David Cameron cautioned today.

Lost choral masterpiece finally finds a home... in the pop charts

Alessandro Striggio's 1566 mass, performed by 40 choristers, sees voices, strings and brass meld into a jaw-dropping harmony.

Queen to make first state visit to Irish Republic

The Queen is to pay a state visit to the Irish Republic this year, the first by a British monarch since independence in 1922, it was announced yesterday.

Queen's head saved from the chop

The presence of the Queen's head on postage stamps is to be guaranteed by law after the Government struck a deal with Buckingham Palace.

Lucy Porter: Enough of all these rewards. Let's have a 'dishonours list'

It's pretty embarrassing to admit, but whenever I read the New Year Honours list, there's always a part of me that hopes that – due to a massive clerical cock-up – my name will somehow appear.

Queen's Christmas message to highlight sport

The Queen's Christmas message to the nation will highlight the importance of sport as a medium that can help build communities and create harmony.

Tom Sutcliffe: If anyone 'owns' the Queen's head, it's us

Social Studies: Why is the Queen permitting her image to be included as a sweetener to a deal so broadly unpopular with her subjects?

Minister 'confident' on royal stamp

A business minister said he was "extremely confident" the Queen's head would remain on postage stamps even if the Royal Mail was sold off to a foreign firm.

'Sad' day as Ark Royal returns home for the final time

The commanding officer of HMS Ark Royal said it was a "sad" day today as the aircraft carrier returned to its home port for the final time.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?