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Englishmen rule

I discovered I was pregnant the same day I met the Queen. It was one of those lightless December afternoons when the sky clamps down on London like the lid on a cast iron pot. I went straight from my doctor’s surgery in Shepherd’s Bush to a media reception at Buckingham Palace where I was

Savile Row revolutionary

 ‘You can’t imagine how insecure it makes our politicians when they consider that they haven’t been elected.’ The man in the Savile Row suit and the hand-made shirt gave me a shrewd grin. Even the price of his haircut would have kept a ­Chinese farmer going for a year. ‘What’s the answer?’ I had to

Target man

John Bellingham dressed fastidiously. On the day that he committed murder, he wore exactly what the fashion magazine Le Beau Monde advised for a gentleman’s morning wear in 1812 — a chocolate broadcloth coat, clay-coloured denim breeches and calf-length boots, the whole set off by a waspish black-and-yellow waistcoat. By contrast, his victim, clad in

Freedom also comes in pink

Women of the world unite: a sinister patriarchal plot is out to get us. Evil tobacco companies are conspiring to seduce us by wrapping up ‘our poison’ in shades of ‘pale or pastel colours’. There is concern in public health circles that the dark arts of design, armed with images denoting ‘femininity, style, sophistication and

Digging deeper

With the life and literature of the whole ancient world spread before us for our pleasure, we ­classicists can be said to lead lives of unparalleled hedonism. But the secret is leaking out. The whole world seems to want a taste, and we cannot blame it in the slightest. History has its Schama, maths its

Investment Special: Tough times for shopkeepers

The high street’s double-dip winners and losers As austerity bites, competition in the high street grows ever more ferocious. Only the nimble and well-financed can thrive. While January and February showed some improvement and sunshine helped boost sales in March, the trend looks likely to be lower again in April. ‘The situation remains fragile,’ said

Investment Special: Patently profitable

Here is something you may have missed if your eyes have been focused on the gyrations in bond and equity markets as euroland crises have come, gone and come again. The S&P 500 telecoms and IT index, the bellwether of digital stocks, has climbed 120 per cent from its 2009 low. All of us who

Investment Special: On the defensive

These are dark days for investors. Interest rates squat at historic all-time lows in order that the Bank of England can continue to bail out our errant banks and government. Western economies toil under a monumental burden of public and private-sector debt, to which austerity is merely the latest desperate political response. Securities and currency