If Richard III wasn’t a child-killer, he was just another boring medieval monarch

I can’t make my mind up whether to be irritated or amused by the devotion shown to King Richard III. His sorry claim to fame is that he usurped the throne, murdered his two young nephews – one of whom,... Read more

Britain must lead from the front on Russia

President Putin has conjured up a crisis in Ukraine which presents the West with only bad choices. Thus far we’ve avoided the worst outcomes, but the British Government can’t afford to turn a blind eye to events on Europe’s eastern... Read more

Myopic politicians are wilfully blind to the truth about green energy

In June 2011, 18 months before going off to serve Her Majesty in another capacity, former energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne made a remarkable speech in which he asserted that the Government’s green policies, far from costing households,... Read more

President Xi and the CCP may soon find themselves in hot water over omicron

King Canute rebuked his flattering courtiers by showing them that he could not turn back the tide. China’s leader Xi Jinping appears to believe that he can control the waves of Covid advancing on China. Omicron may prove him wrong.... Read more

We have every reason to be hopeful about 2022 and the years ahead

If 2021 opened fearfully, with the public locked down in their homes to control a virus that seemed to have the entire world at its mercy, it may not have closed with great confidence, given the continued alarm about the... Read more

Ignore the hysteria: 2022 will be the year we get back to normal

As is my custom, I will devote this first column of the new year to negative predictions: things that will not happen in 2022. First must be the matter which directly impinges on most of our lives. There will be... Read more

The disturbing truth about avocados – and other food swaps you need to make now

For climatarian Donna Collins, 38, it was a documentary that made her change the way she ate for ever. ‘It just highlighted how damaging modern farming is in so many ways,’ says Donna, an architect and owner of online interiors... Read more

Death of the swimming pool – is it the end of another great British institution?

The tradition of going to public swimming baths dates back centuries. Roman baths provided the model for the bath houses that emerged in Britain from the 17th century onwards. As our cities expanded during the Industrial Revolution, local pools were... Read more

‘I embarked on the renovation from hell… then discovered I was pregnant with triplets’

Be careful what you wish for. When Amy Balfour and her husband Victor decided they needed more space after the first lockdown, they stumbled across a charming 550-year-old house in the middle of the picture-postcard village of Fletching in Sussex,... Read more

Why ‘conscious dressing’ is the uplifting secret to jazzing up your January wardrobe

Brora Fair Isle wool tank top, £115, and cord trousers, £159, broraonline.com; Jigsaw wool-blend bouclé Ember coat, £260, jigsaw-online.com; Dune Greatness loafers, £90, dunelondon.com; T-shirt, Alyson’s own Consider different combinations, try clothes on until you find a winning combination and... Read more

Ian Maxwell: My sister Ghislaine subjected to outrageous six-month wait for sentence

Mr Maxwell said that his sister had been scapegoated for Epstein’s crimes and that her close friendship with the Duke of York had made her an obvious target for law enforcement after Epstein was found dead in his cell. “I... Read more

Finland says it could join Nato despite Russian pressure

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö on Saturday reiterated his country’s right to join Nato if it wants to, in a dismissal of Russian demands for no further expansion of the Western military alliance near its borders. “Finland’s room to manoeuvre and... Read more

‘We’re struggling to survive,’ say Lebanese being punished for drugs hidden in fruit

This struck a heavy blow to one of the few sectors of Lebanon’s import-dependent economy to remain productive. Lebanon’s beleaguered farmers – who grow citrus, bananas, pomegranates and other produce for export to the Gulf – fear last week’s drug... Read more

Polar Bears forced to migrate from America to Russia because of climate change

The latest data on polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea – which stretches across the top of America and Canada – shows a 40 percent population drop between 2001-2010 from 1,500 to 900 individuals. Global warming has caused sea... Read more

Eight incredible hotels to book for a wild adventure in 2022

The last two years have been frustrating for those afflicted by wanderlust. Jetsetting exploits have been possible at times, but a combination of lockdowns, closed borders, flight bans, lists of varying colours have conspired to make far-flung adventures unpalatable for... Read more

How our favourite holiday destinations changed in 2021

Tourism has proven to be a massive boon for the country – and helped with the protection of the gorillas. And the pandemic has not stopped development. Uganda has several impressive new lodges, including the Aramaga Rift Valley Lodge, which... Read more

How the holiday island of Bali survived two years without mass tourism

“If the airport closes, Bali will die.” This dire prediction – uttered in March 2020 by one of the thousands of tourism workers who lost their jobs as the international tourism juggernaut ground to a halt – proved half correct.... Read more

‘A spa detox week in Italy showed me that I do actually have a reset button’

“This is a load of tosh,” I thought to myself until the doctor told me that my biological age was nine years younger than my actual age. Clearly cutting-edge science! And quite unbelievable given the actual state I was in. ... Read more

The inside story of Dubai’s latest obsession

In winter, the heat is bearable, but it’s still more comfortable to cycle at night. As hazy wisps of sunset fade like glowing embers, monstrous dunes loom larger, and the sky erupts with stars. Once the yellow jerseys have whizzed... Read more

What Vera Lynn was really like behind closed doors

Above: one of Lynn’s sketchbooks from the 1930s. She was taught by Arthur Segal, a Romanian artist who fled Nazi Germany. His school in north London encouraged students to paint and draw in a representational way, rather than the modern... Read more

Clive Myrie’s New Year quiz: 100 questions to test the whole family

Hello and a very happy New Year to you all. I’m now entering my second year as the host of Mastermind and I can’t wait to meet the new crop of contenders for 2022. But quizzing isn’t just about big competitions... Read more

The four best debut novels to read in 2022

CS Lewis’s adage that we read to know we are not alone may have become a banal observation, but being inside a character’s interior struggles while they navigate personal crises with all their human flaws is one of the novel’s... Read more

Would Your Majesty prefer a beaver or a giraffe? History’s strangest diplomatic gifts

A Giraffe from the Governor of Egypt to the King of France in 1826 Giraffes were a popular diplomatic gift in the renaissance. Lorenzo de’ Medici was presented with one by the Mamluk Sultan Qaitbay in 1487, to aid a... Read more

Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan: ‘This has been the worst year of my life – and the hardest’

“Sure,” says Dornan. “You wear it, and it shapes you, and colours you forever, to lose your mother at such a young age, and life will never be the same again – but you can’t lead with it. I am... Read more

How a 557,000-word, ‘woke’ Harry Potter fanfic took on JK Rowling

The magical world of Harry Potter extends far beyond the original books written by JK Rowling. With films, plays, spoofs, theme parks and more than a million pieces of fanfiction, the HP universe could one day come to rival Marvel,... Read more