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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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us