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 Elizabeth I
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Wednesday 11 November 2009
The nation fell silent on Armistice Day as the passing of the First World War generation was marked at a moving memorial service today.
Sunday 25 October 2009
Sunday 04 October 2009
As a townie, I'm a sucker for romantic depictions of the countryside such as this one. Especially with the added attraction of not only a historic country house (its original owner was chosen by Queen Elizabeth I to give the news of her execution to Mary, Queen of Scots), but also a literary connection – Nicholson's grandmother is the writer Vita Sackville-West, who bought Sissinghurst when she lost her own family seat, Knole.
Monday 28 September 2009
The Queen will visit Bermuda to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the island's settlement, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
Friday 25 September 2009
On 7 July 1959, Isaiah Berlin described a dinner party with Maria Callas and the Queen Mother. "I thought the QM not indeed particularly intelligent nor even terribly nice," he wrote, "but a very strong personality – much stronger than I thought her – and filled with the possibility of unexpected answers."
Friday 25 September 2009
Thursday 17 September 2009
The Queen and Margaret Thatcher never really hit it off. Of all the prime ministers for whom the Queen held an audience, Mrs Thatcher was notoriously one of those she liked the least.
Sunday 13 September 2009
Here is the full text of the Queen Mother's letter:
My darling Mama,
I hardly know how to begin to tell you of the horrible attack on Buckingham Palace this morning.
Tuesday 11 August 2009
Forty years ago this week, Los Angeles was reeling in the wake of a crime horrifying even by the standards of that blood-splattered metropolis. Three months later, the murderers of seven people including actress Sharon Tate, the heavily pregnant 26-year-old wife of director Roman Polanski, were identified as acolytes of the sociopathic Charles Manson, members of his so-called Family, who had been acting on his addled orders with the intention of kindling a race war between blacks and whites, to which he, influenced by the Beatles, called Helter Skelter.
Monday 10 August 2009
Thursday 23 July 2009
Joe Lewis is much smaller, more wiry and slippery than his near-namesake, America's iconic heavyweight champ. You can bet the man who was itching to call his first album Nat Turner, after the feared leader of a US slave revolt in 1831, knows tall about Louis. Growing up in a Texas small town, MC Hammer claimed the 28-year-old's affections long before his current heroes James Brown and Lightnin' Hopkins. But the grit of Southern life at ground level hasn't changed too much, and he sings his take on 1960s soul with casual conviction.
Friday 10 July 2009
Tuesday 30 June 2009
Monday 29 June 2009
The Queen and the Royal Family cost the taxpayer 69p per person last year - an increase of 3p, Buckingham Palace accounts showed today.
Saturday 06 June 2009
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
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