Arts and Entertainment

A boy enters a palace of a hundred rooms where an assassin may lurk behind every door and shadowy figures are reflected in a Hall of Mirrors.  An astonishing treasure lies at its heart, but powerful enemies are at the gates.

The Young Victoria - another screen queen

'The Young Victoria' goes a step further than other films about royalty. It is co-produced by Sarah Ferguson and has a cameo for her daughter, Princess Beatrice. Alice Jones reports

The return of television's feelgood factor

The BBC's Lark Rise to Candleford is helping viewers to forget their woes. And the schedulers want more blues-beating dramas, says James Rampton

London's first park built after rich feared disease spread from slums

The Capital's first public park opened in 1845 as a response to public health concerns.

Return to sender: Artist puts Royal Mail to the test

Harriet Russell decided to lay down a challenge to her postmen and women with a series of brain-teasers, and as Jonathan Brown reports, they responded

Miriam Margolyes: 'My confession killed my mother'

The actress Miriam Margolyes, who began her career making soft-porn audio tapes, reveals today that she believes coming out as a lesbian killed her mother.

End of an era for Edna, Norman and Irene

A piece of British history is rapidly dying out as the nation's most traditional names are replaced by a new generation of Mohammads, Jacks, Jessicas and Olivias

'I can't shake off that bad cough': world's oldest blogger logs off

Some older people have an aversion to the internet and its myriad forms of communication. Not Olive Riley, who began blogging last year at the age of 107 and posted more than 70 entries before dying in an Australian nursing home last weekend.

Paperbacks: Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters, by Philip Eade

She knew Queen Victoria, and she appeared on Parkinson. One colonial officer thought Hollywood, which she courted, her "spiritual home"; but, until her husband abdicated in 1946, she was the Ranee of Sarawak.

Soldiers in Helmand unearth British rifles lost in 1880 massacre

Weapons taken after a Victorian defeat in Afghanistan have been recovered – and repatriated as antiques

Last Night's TV: Queen Victoria's Men, Channel 4: A Taste of My Life, BBC2

The thesis of Queen Victoria's Men was, roughly, that a monarch famous for her lack of amusement was in reality a hot little piece who was gagging for it: Queen Shagtoria, in fact. Well, I say "roughly", but to be honest that's more or less the whole thing. There were times, watching it, when I wondered if they couldn't have saved time and money by hiring a man with a top hat, black cape and ivory-topped cane to twirl his moustachios at a photograph of Her Majesty for 90 minutes, with a break every now and then to murmur, "Hello, you saucy little baggage." This would at least have been slightly less off-putting than all the knowing twinkles at the camera we had to put up with from the actresses playing young and old Vic.

Case closed: Last of Romanovs did die at Yekaterinburg

DNA tests have confirmed that remains found last year are those of two of the last Tsar's children, executed by a firing squad in 1918.

Paperbacks: The Last Princess by Matthew Dennison

Phoenix £10.99

Lord Kelvedon

Guinness scion and son of 'Chips' Channon who nevertheless become a popular MP and minister

Thug: the true story of India's murderous cult by Mike Dash

The sacred slaughterers

1898 and all that

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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?