Norfolk girl steps forward for a hug as soaring temperatures attract thousands

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Record crowds headed to the royal estate at Sandringham yesterday as Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the annual flower show.

Soaring temperatures saw thousands of people head to the West Norfolk village where the royal couple were greeted as they arrived by horse-drawn carriage.

For one young visitor, protocol was side-stepped and she managed to hug the Duchess of Cornwall during a walkabout.

Lucy Kinge, 5, threw her arms around Camilla as she was meeting members of the public, and the Duchess of Cornwall put her arm around the little girl and smiled broadly.

Lucy, of Yaxham, near Dereham, was having a royal week having visited Buckingham Palace on Tuesday and her grandmother Barbara Bennett said she had thoroughly enjoyed her experience.

West Newton school pupil Dominic Ashby, 5, presented the Duchess, who was wearing a green pansey-printed summer dress, with a posy before the couple toured the show in the blazing heat.

Show chairman David Reeve said the car parks were full by the time the royal party arrived and an overflow car park was called into use.

“It looks to be heading for a record year,” he said.

The royal visitors spent some time in the show marquees with displays of flowers, fruit, vegetables and produce.

Richard Beales, of Attleborough-based Peter Beales Roses, presented Camilla with a stem of the Queen’s Jubilee Rose which was launched earlier this year at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The couple also admired displays from various organisations including King’s Lynn Horticultural Society and a representation of the beach at Great Yarmouth.

They spent some time at the EDP’s photographic display of royal pictures from the last 60 years and Prince Charles was presented with a copper plate image of himself as a child by community editor Chris Bishop.

The waiting crowd was delighted when the couple conducted a walkabout in between visiting the tents for the National Osteoporosis Society, the Women’s Institute, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, Royal Warrant Association Holders and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

They also visited the schools tent where both admired a pair of lions painted by pupils from estate schools.

Mrs Angela Eden, head teacher of Flitcham, said the painted lions were created by schools in the Springwood group and theirs will be taking pride of place in the playground.

“It has a picture of Prince Charles stuck onto it and he thought it was lovely,” she said.

A box of royal-estate grown strawberries were also presented to the couple by the Royal Warrant Holders Association. They also spoke to a contingent of Air Training Corps cadets from King’s Lynn who had spent the morning helping park cars at the event.

They left by carriage after spending some time with the Royal Flying Corps.

The royal couple are not staying in Norfolk, as is usually the case, because of other commitments in London, so they were not accompanied by house guests this year.

The show raises money for local charity and since 1977 more than £500,000 has been distributed to a wide range of causes.

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