Alex James, bass guitarist, journalist and cheesemaker, is due to perform at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, in Wan Chai, on Tuesday, as part of Britpop group Blur. On the first day of the Year of the Goat, the quartet released “The Magic Whip”, their first album in 12 years. Recorded largely in a Kowloon studio, after a Japanese gig was cancelled, the album references Lantau, Happy Valley and Ocean Park. In 1998, James wrote the music for the English football team’s World Cup anthem, Vindaloo, released by Fat Les, a band whose members also included Damien Hirst …

The world’s richest living artist, Bristol-born Hirst in 2003 sent his work to Mars, on the Beagle 2 spacecraft. A technical hitch meant it was not until this year that scientists were able to confirm Beagle 2’s landing on the red planet – and, along with it, one of Hirst’s paintings. In 2012, he produced Seer, a piece commissioned to grace the cover of the London Evening Standard, a newspaper co-owned by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev …

The former KGB agent turned mega-rich media mogul bought the newspaper in 2009 with his son, Evgeny – now Britain’s youngest newspaper proprietor. The 35-year-old also owns The Stud House, an 18th-century residence on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, where Henry VIII once lived. Hundreds of occupants, granted residence through the “grace and favour” of the British monarchy, have called the palace home over the past 500 years, including Sophia Duleep Singh …

A Punjabi princess, a goddaughter of Queen Victoria and a Suffragette, Singh became known as the Hampton Court Harridan for her extreme acts of protest, such as throwing herself at the prime minister’s car, fighting the police and refusing to pay taxes; “When the women of England are enfranchised I shall pay my taxes willingly. If I am not a person for the purposes of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?” she argued. Eighteen years after her death, another group of Brits took political umbrage at their tax demands: this troublesome lot were The Beatles …

In their 1966 song Taxman, the Fab Four condemned the Labour government’s fiscal policies, which could have seen 95 per cent of their income taxed. “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,/If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat./If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat,/If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet,” went the lyrics penned by lead guitarist George Harrison. In 2013, the Beatles’ hit Day Tripper kicked off a 12-minute medley of the greatest home-grown rock of the past six decades, composed for the Best of British Festival, held at Buckingham Palace to mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II …

In 1982, Lilibet, as she is known to friends and family, awoke in her bedroom at Buckingham Palace to find intruder Michael Fagan at the foot of her bed. The two chatted for seven minutes before the police arrived. In May 2012, the queen allowed the Duke of York to throw a “thank you” party at the palace for Goldsmiths College, from which his daughter Princess Beatrice, who is seventh in line to the thrown, had graduated in history. The guest list featured at least one other Goldsmiths alumnus: a graduate of music, Alex James.