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.

Silence marks passing of WWI generation

The nation fell silent on Armistice Day as the passing of the First World War generation was marked at a moving memorial service today.

Fit for a Princess: The Hardy Amies exhibition

The archive of the Savile Row designer, which includes unseen photos of the Royal Family, is to be shown to the public for the first time

Sissinghurst, By Adam Nicholson

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.

Bermuda visit for the Queen

The Queen will visit Bermuda to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the island's settlement, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, By William Shawcross

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."

Boyd Tonkin: Swansongs for a poet and a queen

The Week In Books

Queen Mother backed Thatcher honour

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.

Queen Mother's letter in full

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.

Last Night's Television: Manson, FIVE<br />On Tour With The Queen, Channel 4

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.

The return of the debutante

After 12 years' absence, the traditional 'coming out' ceremony for the young and privileged is back. Jerome Taylor meets the young women who <I>will</I> go to the ball

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Jazz Café, London

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.

Carol Ann Duffy : 'I was told to get a proper job'

She's the first female poet laureate and a set-text fixture, but, says Carol Ann Duffy, life hasn't really changed all that much

Queen to request &#163;7m more from the Civil List

Royal expenditure increased to record &pound;41.5m last year

Royal family costs each taxpayer 69p a year

The Queen and the Royal Family cost the taxpayer 69p per person last year - an increase of 3p, Buckingham Palace accounts showed today.

'This is where all my mates are'

On the eve of the D-Day anniversary, John Lichfield joined the 500 veterans who returned to Sword Beach to remember the soldiers who didn't come back
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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: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot