The UK’s new polar research ship will be named RSS Sir David Attenborough despite ‘Boaty McBoatface’ winning an online poll.

The £200m vessel will be named on Friday, two days prior to Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday.

Sir David said he was “truly honoured” by the decision.

While the polar ship itself will not be named Boaty McBoatface, one of its remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be given the honour in recognition of the vote.

James Hand, who first suggested the moniker, said he was pleased the name would “live on”.

In a tweet, he also said that RRS Sir David Attenborough, which came fourth in the public vote, was a “fitting and excellent choice”.

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is being built on Merseyside and is due to set sail in 2019.

It will be the most advanced polar research ship in the world, investigating the oceans in a multitude of ways and probing how best to address climate change.

The ship will also enable scientists and technicians to stay at sea for longer and study the polar environments during the winter months.

The Boaty sub-sea vehicle will be dispatched from RRS Sir David Attenborough to allow the ship’s research crew to collect data and samples from the deepest waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.

An alternative name of “Subby McSubface” is already being suggested on social media.