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.

Queen welcomes South African president Jacob Zuma to Britain

British pomp and pageantry was on full display today to greet South African President Jacob Zuma as he began a three-day state visit to Britain.

From the Queen to the Queen Vic: 'The Lady' selects its leading ladies

When Boris Johnson's sister, Rachel, assumed the editorship of The Lady promising to double the tiny circulation of the venerable publication in a year or die trying, she knew that the shock waves from her cultural revolution would get the teacups rattling in the parlours of the nation's gentlefolk.

Two-day holiday to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Workers are to be given an extra bank holiday in 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, it was confirmed today.

Honours List: Royal Victorian Medal

Royal servants: Sandringham driver wins royal double

Anthony Hardingham, a tractor driver on the Sandringham Estate, has now received two awards from the Queen. Mr Hardingham already holds the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver), awarded in 2004, but now holds an RVM plus bar. He is one of 38 people included in the New Year Honours List for their personal services to the Royal Family.

Now funding fears hit Army cadets

Defence funding cuts have left the Army's cadet programme facing an uncertain future as it prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2010, organisers have warned.

Security tight as Royals attend church service

The Queen and members of the Royal Family today attended a church service amid tight security.

The Big Moment: People were moving in a muted but purposeful way, as if answering a call

Funeral of the Queen Mother, 9 April 2002

Debate over escalating Royal costs set to come to the boil

The public funding of the Royal Family is a complex formula comprising government grants and Civil List payments agreed by Parliament.

Cunard keeps Carnival afloat

Carnival, the world's largest luxury cruise ship operator, is expected to announce buoyant full-year results on Thursday with its premium brand, Cunard, keeping its bottom line afloat.

Best biographies of 2009: All manner of conflict lurks in these sketches of larger-than-life personas from Dame Vera to Floyd

The 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War has helped along that staple of historical publishing, the "Hitler industry". Among the many books that have nourished this genre are a hefty biography of his confidant, Joseph Goebbels: A Life and Death by Toby Thacker (Palgrave Macmillan, £19.99) and an elegant and well-researched portrait of Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation by Charles Glass (HarperPress, £20), chronicling the literati and intelligentsia who stayed there against the odds.

The Weekend's Television: The Queen, Sun, Channel 4

Divorced from reality

South African president to make state visit

South African President Jacob Zuma will make a state visit to Britain in March, the Queen announced today.

Nick Clegg: Cancel the Queen's Speech – and save democracy

Nick Clegg today issues a call for this week's Queen's Speech to be scrapped and replaced by an emergency programme of reform designed to "clean up politics once and for all".

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