Fire-damaged King's Apartments reopen

The Queen is this afternoon due to reopen the seventeenth- century King's Apartments at Hampton Court Palace which have been restored after being damaged by fire in Easter 1986, writes Debbie Smith.

The official opening marks the end of a pounds 10m project, funded by the Government, to return the apartments, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, to their original state. The interiors have been refurbished as they were in 1700.

Thousands of fragments saved from the original building have been assimilated into the restoration. The ceiling of the Cartoon Gallery, originally designed to house Raphael's work bought by Charles I, which collapsed in the fire, has been renewed.

To coincide with the opening, Hampton Court is introducing interpreters, to give visitors information, wearing courtiers' costumes of the early eighteenth century.