Prince Philip sees off the world's oldest clipper ship
The world's oldest tea clipper City of Adelaide was given a royal send off on Friday at a ceremony in Greenwich ahead of its return to South Australia.
The Duke of Edinburgh, officially renaming the vessel beside its sister ship the Cutty Sark, said: "I declare that this ship is now going to be called City of Adelaide, I hope she has a long and successful career in her reincarnation."
The vessel built in 1864 is the only surviving purpose-built ship which took migrants from Europe to Australia. Originally called the City of Adelaide, the clipper was renamed HMS Carrick when purchased by the Royal Navy in 1923.
This was to avoid confusion with the cruiser HMAS Adelaide that had recently been commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy.
Honorary Captain Andrew Chapman, whose great-great-grandfather travelled from Adelaide back to England on the ship, performed a purging ceremony which involved burning its old written name to honour a mariners' legend - the name was purged from the Ledger of the Deep and Neptune's memory.
Champagne was then poured into the Thames and then thrown in four directions to appease the gods of the four winds - splashing the audience and much to the Duke's delight who commented that the ceremony was "very Australian".
The vessel's sailing days ended in 1893 but it continued to serve as a floating hospital and then a training ship, until sinking in a dock in Glasgow in 1991.
It lay on the bottom of the River Clyde for a year before being raised and moved to the banks of the River Irvine.
In 2001 Prince Philip led a group to save the ship from destruction and the Scottish Government accepted a proposal to send her back to Australia where she will become a tourist attraction and museum.
The ship has now started her journey via a quarantine and preparation stop at the Dutch port of Dordrecht where it will be shrink-wrapped and fumigated in preparation for the longer voyage to South Australia.
The Duke unveiled a plaque to mark the renaming before joining invited guests to share imported Australian wines, beer and meat pies.