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Comment 25 APRIL 2012

Queen helps the Cutty Sark rise from the flames and set sail again

25 APRIL 2012

It has risen again, like a phoenix from the ashes. The Cutty Sark set sail again on Wednesday, officially relaunched by the Queen.

The monarch inaugurated the vessel, which five years ago went up in flames, during the early stages of a £50 million restoration.

Joining the Queen was the Duke of Edinburgh, who – together with his wife – campaigned to bring the Cutty Sark to Greenwich in the Fifties.

 

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He also co-founded the Cutty Sark Society in 1951 to help safeguard her future.

The ship, which was launched in 1869 from Dumbarton in Scotland, has visited most ports around the world.

She transported everything from fine teas and gunpowder, to whisky and buffalo horns, and was the fastest ship of her era during her time in the wool trade.

Richard Doughty, director of the Cutty Sark Trust, told Sky News about the moment he learned of the fire.

"I remember the fire chief calling me that day and saying the ship was alight from stem to stern," he remembered.

"Not only have we been able to bring her back but we have saved so much of the original timber, the original features."

Since the restoration work was already under way in 2007 when the ship caught fire, it meant around 50 percent of it had been removed.

 

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After pictures of the vessel up in flames were broadcast around the world, donations came flooding in to help with rebuilding.

During their visit to Greenwich as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Queen and Prince Phillip also dropped in on the National Maritime Museum.

The royals also visited nearby Southwark, where the Queen officially named the 94ft row boat Gloriana, which is will feature in the spectacular Jubilee Pageant.

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