Clarence House opens to public
The late Queen Mother's home has undergone substantial renovation
Prince Charles's new residence, the former London home of the Queen Mother, opens to visitors for the first time on Wednesday.
The public will be able to take a guided tour around part of Clarence House, following a multi-million pound renovation.
The Prince of Wales moved there from nearby St James's Palace on Monday - the anniversary of the late Queen Mother's birth in 1900.
The tour, around five ground floor rooms, will feature many works of art and furniture collected by the Queen Mother.
The summer opening is also a chance to see the rooms in which official engagements will be undertaken and important guests will be received.
The works of art include pieces by 20th century British artists John Piper, Graham Sutherland, WS Sickert and Augustus John.
All tickets for the guided tours are timed and must be pre-booked
Booking line 020 7766 7303
Or on website http://www.the-royal-collection.com/royaltickets
Adult: £5, under-17: £3, under-5: free
Tours from 6 August to 17 October
Examples of Fabergé and English porcelain and silver, many relating to the Bowes-Lyon family, will also be on display.
Asbestos has been removed from the 19th century building, plumbing updated and rewiring carried out at a cost of £4.5m.
The cost is being taken from public money set aside for palace maintenance.
Charles has used £1.6m of his own money for extras, including furnishings, and paid for the decoration of two rooms which will be used by his partner, Camilla Parker Bowles.
The residence, which was the Queen Mother's principal home from 1953 until her death last year, was in need of major structural work and had not been painted for 50 years.
The whole place "was frankly pretty dirty. The curtains were falling apart, and the red felt carpet was in shreds," said Sir Hugh Roberts who is charged with the maintenance of royal property.
Matthew Dennison, of interiors magazine House and Garden, described the new look as "user-friendly and not intimidating".
"It's smart, it's modern but it's rooted in the past," he told BBC News.
"It's formal because it's full of first rate objects but it's also informal."
The house, which is located off The Mall and close to Buckingham Palace, will also be the London home of Charles's sons Prince William and Harry.
Vistors will see the Queen Mum's corgi and horse pictures
Prince Charles was hosting two parties at the palace on Monday, to allow the Queen Mother's former domestic staff to have a preview of the finished product, and to thank the builders for their work.
He is understood to be "very pleased" with the redecoration.
His treasurer Kevin Knott said the renovation would add to the country's cultural heritage.
"This block of work is going to last for a very long time. it's going to prove to be very good value for money."
Clarence House offers Charles more room to entertain VIPs than the relatively cramped accommodation at nearby St James's Palace.
Meetings are often held in the grounds of his Gloucestershire home, Highgrove, due to the lack of space at St James's.
The house was built between 1825 and 1827 to the designs of John Nash for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, who lived there as King William IV from 1830 until 1837.