• How times have changed in the Downing Street kitchen

    The modern surroundings of the Downing Street residence provided the perfect backdrop for Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama's meeting over afternoon tea on Tuesday. But the central London abode inhabited by prime ministers hasn't always been so lavish. A quick comparison with an image taken in 1989 of the kitchen Margaret Thatcher used during her time as Prime Minister shows how times have changed at the Downing Street dwelling. David and Samantha's apartment – at the larger No 11 - features stainless steel fittings, immaculate graphite cabinets and gleaming accessories. Perfectly aligned Jamie Oliver pans sit neatly on a steel shelf, whilst top-notch gadgets such

  • Michelle reminds Britain why she's the first lady of cool

    Since Michelle Obama captured the public imagination during her husband's presidential campaign, other powerful personalities - such as Lady Gaga and the Duchess of Cambridge - have come along. Yet, the US first lady continues to fascinate us as the ultimate icon for the modern woman. Wednesday was a case in point when she sashayed between serving up chow at a barbecue for military families,hugging schoolgirls and mingling with royalty - all the while looking utterly at ease and delighted to be in each setting.  Michelle radiated her characteristic warmth as she welcomed the Queen to a gala thanking her for Tuesday's glittering banquet at

  • Inspirational trip to Oxford for city schoolgirls as disarming Michelle dispenses advice

    The setting was the grand dining hall of one of Briatin's most prestigious and historical universities, lined for the occasion with scores of reporters, photographers and obligatory secret service officers. Nevertheless, the 37 schoolgirls attentively listening from the wooden benches not for one moment thought they were in anything other than an intimate gathering – such is the disarming charm of First Lady Michelle Obama. On Wednesday – day two of her husband's state visit to the UK – Michelle paid a solo visit to Christ Church at Oxford University to deliver a inspirational speech to a specially selected group of students. Click