Seeking the blessing of Neptune in a formal ceremony beside the Thames, the world's oldest clipper was renamed by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip was instrumental in saving the ship - built in 1864 and five years older than Cutty Sark - when she was derelict and facing the scrapyard in Scotland.

Now she is bound for South Australia after supporters raised money for the cradle and barge on which she now sits.The voyage is expected to get under way shortly although appeals are still under way for the full cost of transporting her to Adelaide.

The ceremony at Greenwich included burning the name under which she has sailed more recently, Carrick, before champagne was offered to the four winds - much to the amusement of the prince. He then formally renamed her City of Adelaide.

The ship took thousands of migrants bound for a new life to South Australia, an area to which convicts were not taken. The state's Agent General Bill Muirhead said: "There are many, many people who are descended from migrants who sailed on City of Adelaide and there is great interest in her return."

Once back a major restoration project will get under way before the clipper becomes an historic maritime attraction.

More on the clipper's background in our earlier feature.

Story dated October 18th 2013

Renaming ceremony conducted by Honorary Captain Andrew Chapman

Prince Philip unveils commemorative plaque



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