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Despite heavy rain all morning as hundreds of school children and tourists waited to greet the Queen and Prince Philip to Greenwich - the rain stopped as the royal party arrived to welcome back the Cutty Sark for near disaster.

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Dressed in a crimson coat and hat with a floral dress beneath the Queen listened intently to the nine minute Diamond Greenwich choral and orchestral piece specially composed by Errollyn Wallen for the visit.

The Queen unveiled a plaque officially creating royal borough status on Greenwich before Prince Philip was formally made a freeman of the borough.

The director of the Cutty Sark Trust Richard Doughty jokingly offered to lay down his coat for the Queen before she went to view the newly restored tea clipper vessel.

The royal couple spent time looking round the ship, before the Queen officially reopened her.

Prince Philip has been patron of the Cutty Sark Trust for more than 50 years and his contribution was praised by Lord Sterling, the trust’s chairman.

He said: “Without the dedication of His Royal Highness this would never have been here today.”

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