Restored Cutty Sark unveiled by Queen

Queen tours Cutty Sark
The Queen tours the restored Cutty Sark Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

The Queen has formally unveiled the restored Cuttty Sark, five years after it was devastated by fire.

The world's last remaining tea clipper has been given a dramatic new setting at its home in Greenwich, south east London.

The three-masted ship has been lifted more than 11ft above its dry berth, with the space underneath home to an interactive museum where visitors can learn about its history.

Cutty Sark on fire
The Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire in May 2007 Credit: REUTERS/Ali Sadeghi

The famous London landmark caught fire in May 2007 when a vacuum cleaner was left running during restoration work.

Luckily most of her fixtures and fittings had already been removed for a major project to renovate the 143-year-old ship.

Five years on and £50 million later she is now ready to re-open to the public.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh viewed the Cutty Sark's cramped decks that during its working life were filled with tea from China.

After that the boat carried hessian from Manila to New York and castor oil from Calcutta to Melbourne.

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 a record time of 73 days from Sydney to London in 1885.

Queen visits Cutty Sark
Richard Doughty shows the Queen around the Cutty Sark Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

It has been 55 years since the Queen first opened the maritime attraction to the public.

Richard Doughty, director of the Cutty Sark Trust, described the vessel as "spectacular".

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.

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.

People have invested love in this ship to put it back together again.

As ITV News' Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports from Greenwich, the Queen has had a maritime theme to her day, earlier visiting the spectacular barge built to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen also unveiled a plaque to mark Greenwich becoming a royal borough, the honour bestowed to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

The public will get their first chance to look around the restored ship on Thursday.