Resplendent in red! Queen brightens the gloom as she names Gloriana, the first royal barge to be built in 100 years
Monarch also formally reopened Cutty Sark five years after it was devastated by fire
17:17 GMT, 25 April 2012
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh today braved heavy rain and driving winds to name a spectacular barge built to mark the Jubilee.
The royal couple travelled to the East London dock where Gloriana is currently
moored, awaiting the moment when it will make its way to Wandsworth
Bridge on the Thames from where it will lead the Jubilee pageant on 3 June.
Dressed in a bright red coat and hat
that cut a swathe through the morning's gloom, the monarch descended a gangway at Greenland Pier on the Thames in London's Docklands before boarding the Gloriana.
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Brightening up a gloomy day: Resplendent in red, Her Majesty braved the inclement conditions to visit Greenland Pier, where the barge is currently moored awaiting its role in the forthcoming Thames pageant
bless her and all who sail in her! The Queen visits the Gloriana, the
first royal barge to be built in 100 years, at Greenland Pier in East
Although the Queen was warmly dressed
in her deep red coat and hat, the Duke was
bare headed – and seemed conscious of the weather.
At one point he could be heard advising the Queen to keep
under cover after she had been to inspect the stern of the boat, which
bears royal symbols and the vessel’s name.
Lord Sterling, who organised public
celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, and is behind the
project, thanked them for attending.
'It’s very much appreciated, in this inclement weather, that you have troubled to come,' he said.
He told reporters: 'The barge is looking very special. It will be a lasting legacy of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.'
The 94-foot vessel, decorated with gold leaf and ornately carved,
harks back 200 years to when kings and queens travelled by water in
The design, inspired by the boats from Canaletto's famous 18th Century painting of a Thames pageant, incorporates sweet chestnut wood taken from the Duchy of Cornwall estate.
The million-pound rowbarge, painstakingly hand built over four years by 60 craftsmen, will be one of the star attractions in this summer’s Thames
Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 4 June, and will lead a 1,000-strong flotilla of boats with the
Queen and the Duke travelling at its heart.
The first royal barge to be built in 100 years, Gloriana will be powered on the day by 18 oarsmen, including Britain's greatest Olympian, Steve Redgrave.
commission: The Gloriana, a 88ft handbuilt rowbarge, is to lead the
procession from Wandsworth to Tower Bridge, powered by 18 oarsmen
Majestic: The Queen seemed pleased with the craft, which was designed to resemble vessels in Canaletto's famous painting of an 18th century river pageant on the Thames
Seal of approval: The Queen seemed pleased with the 94-foot vessel, decorated with gold leaf and ornately carved, harking back 200 years to when kings and queens travelled by water in opulent style
Flash of colour: The Queen cut a swathe through the gloom in her bright red coat
Maiden voyage: The boat passed through Richmond as it took to the water for the first time on 19 April
Test run: The royal barge was rowed along the river Thames last week in a test voyage ahead of its role in June's pageant
Debut: The Gloriana is lowered onto the Thames ahead of its test run
Later, the Queen paid a visit to Greenwich, where she formally reopened the Cutty Sark, five years after it was devastated by fire.
After surviving the roughest seas and the devastating blaze, the 'spectacular' Cutty Sark was unveiled by the Queen after a 50 million restoration project.
The world's last remaining tea clipper has been restored to her heyday when she carried goods from around the globe back to England.
It has been 55 years since the Queen first opened the maritime attraction to the public, and today she returned to repeat the ceremony – but in a dramatic new setting.
Richard Doughty, director of the Cutty Sark Trust, described the vessel as 'spectacular' and said:
'We have a ship fit for the Queen and we're very proud Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh have come to open the site.
of Britain: The Cutty Sark, the world's last surviving tea clipper, has
been extensively restored after being damaged by fire in 2006
Reopening the famous vessel: Hundreds of spectators braved the rain turned up to see the Queen and Prince Philip unveil the restoration of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich today
The volunteers had braved cold, wet and windy conditions but were given a wave by the Duke and Queen before they attended a reception in the new space below the ship's hull
'Fifty-five years on from when she first came, it's a very different experience, offering a light environment in the Cutty Sark's new elevated position.'
The director said the wealth of positive public feeling towards the clipper was overwhelming when residents were given a free tour of the vessel at the weekend – 'people have invested love in this ship to put it back together again', he said.
The clipper is now displayed in a stunning setting, lifted more than 11ft (3.4m) above its dry berth in Greenwich, south east London, and is once again a major landmark passed by runners who took part in Sunday's marathon.
The space under the three-masted vessel is home to an interactive museum where visitors can learn about its history.
When the fire, caused by a vacuum cleaner that had been left on, struck in 2007 most of the fixtures and fittings had been removed for a major project to renovate the vessel, now 143-years-old, so visitors can see many original features on deck.
The royal couple later moved inside to view the Cutty Sark's cramped decks that during its working life were filled with tea from China, and when this cargo was no longer an option, it carried hessian from Manila to New York and castor oil from Calcutta to Melbourne.
The King's Troop Royal Horse Artilllery form up at the Royal Museums Greenwich for the Queen's visit
The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery at the Royal Museums Greenwich as the Royal Row Barge 'Gloriana' floats past along the Thames
Despite its sleek hull and large sails, the ship was dogged by bad winds and accidents and never became the fastest vessel in the tea trade.
But she came into her own as a wool clipper sailing the trade route around South America's Cape Horn and through the Roaring Forties trade winds, setting in 1885 a record passage time of 73 days from Sydney to London.
Displays on the decks tell the history of the vessel from its construction to how tea is made in China, and Philip had to bow his head at several points to avoid metal girders.
The royal couple ventured on to the top deck as the rain stopped and high above their heads were dozens of sailing volunteers in the rigging, with many on the 152ft (46m) main mast.
The volunteers had braved the cold, wet and windy conditions for the previous two hours and were given a wave by the Duke and Queen before they attended a reception in the new space below the ship's hull.
As they walked into the hall, suspended above the royals was the vessel covered in the gold-coloured muntz metal, a copper and zinc alloy, it would originally have been covered in.
The royal couple were introduced to many organisations behind the restoration project and in a brief speech Lord Sterling, chairman of the Cutty Sark Trust, praised Philip saying the clipper 'would not be here today' without his campaigning to preserve it.
Before leaving for the National Maritime Museum, the Queen unveiled a plaque to officially open the attraction which will admit the public for the first time tomorrow.
Stunning: The Cutty Sark has a dramatic new setting, raised high above its dry dock, with a new visitors' museum underneath
Prince Philip has a long association with the ship, co-founding the Cutty Sark Society in 1951 to safeguard the vessel.
He came to Greenwich soon after the fire to assess the damage for himself and Mr Doughty said that the Duke had given up his association with a number of bodies when he turned 90 last year but maintained his relationship with the society, now a trust.
'That shows the depth of commitment he has for this ship he helped to save,' he said.
The director added that Philip had given staff valuable advice fromlessons he had learned after the devastating fire at Windsor Castle in 1992.
Queen Elizabeth II with the Queen Mother during a visit to the National Maritime Museum in 1937, as a treat shortly after her 11th birthday
He said: 'He gave us moral support and some very practical advice in terms of how to get the best from consultants and contractors and other sorts of challenges we might encounter.'
The Queen also unveiled a plaque to mark Greenwich becoming a royal borough, an honour bestowed to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
The monarch and Philip arrived just as driving rain that had lashed the ship and the hundreds of well-wishers began to stop.
The royal couple took their place on a dais and listened to an orchestral and choral suite commissioned by Greenwich to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and composed by Errollyn Wallen.