BRIGHTON and Hove’s mayor and the city’s modern-day Dandy were among the guests of honour as the Royal Pavilion reopened its doors yesterday.

Councillor Alan Robins and Zack Pinsent were taken around the site and shown the new social distancing measures put in place to keep visitors to the historic site safe.

They were joined by chairwoman of the equalities, communities and culture committee Cllr Steph Powell and Labour councillor Carmen Appich as the attraction opened its doors for the first time since the UK was plunged into lockdown in March.

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Cllr Appich said: “It’s fantastic news that, thanks to the hard work and commitment of staff, we are now able to reopen our wonderful Royal Pavilion.

“Visitors can now look forward to touring the building safely, as well as enjoying a warm welcome from all the staff.”

The Grade II listed building was developed as a pleasure palace for Prince George around the turn of the 19th century, inspired by visual styles from India and China.

George was named Prince Regent in 1811 and continued to transform the estate into the Oriental palace seen today.

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When Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837 she delighted Brighton residents with a visit to the city in the year of her coronation, but found the palace was too small and disliked its association with her extravagant uncle King George IV.

She sold the estate to the town of Brighton for more than £50,000 in 1850, stripping it of all its interior decorations, fittings and furnishings for use in other royal homes.

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But now, thanks to a new addition, visitors to the site will be able to see the queen’s legacy in the building.

Queen Victoria’s apartments have been draped with the original elegant 19th century Chinese export wallpaper.

A “Prince’s Treasure” of more than 120 decorative items including items on loan from Her Majesty The Queen are also currently on display in the Royal Pavilion.