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Sir Robert Walpole
Sir Robert Walpole

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of the Government of the United Kingdom, and chairs Cabinet meetings. There is no specific date when the office of Prime Minister first appeared, as the role was not created but rather evolved over a period of time. The term was used in the House of Commons in 1805 and it was certainly in parliamentary use by the 1880s, and in 1905 the post of Prime Minister was officially given recognition in the order of precedence. Modern historians generally consider Sir Robert Walpole (pictured), who led the government of Great Britain from 1721 to 1742, as the first Prime Minister. Walpole is also the longest-serving Prime Minister by this definition. However, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was the first Prime Minister and Margaret Thatcher the longest-serving Prime Minister to have been officially referred to as such. Due to the gradual evolution of the post of Prime Minister, the title is applied to early Prime Ministers only retrospectively; this has sometimes given rise to academic dispute. (Full list...)

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A black plastic comb. Toothed devices used for styling, cleaning and managing hair and scalp, combs have been used since prehistoric times, and examples date back to 5,000 years. Combs vary in shape according to function, and can be made out of a number of materials. Most combs are plastic, metal, or wood; ivory combs were also once common.

Photograph: Chris Woodrich

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