December 21 2014 Latest news:
By Chris Bishop
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Thousands of visitors from around the country packed into the rolling parkland of the Royal Estate today to see Prince Charles and Camilla at the Sandringham Flower Show.
Now in its 133rd year, the event at the Queen’s Norfolk retreat is one of the country’s most prestigious horticultural events and attracts up to 15,000 visitors each year.
Just afer 11am, as the sun shone down on rows of visitors, the royal couple arrived in a horse-drawn carriage with actresses Judi Dench and Maggie Smith their house guests.
The prince, who is patron of the Sandringham Estate Cottage Horticultural Society, and the duchess toured the showground, saw the wide variety of gardens and walked through the marquees - with the Prince noting the distinctive smell of “cow pat” in the flower tent.
A children’s orchestra performed for the royal couple on a beautiful garden created by John Farley and Sue Huckle, in association with the EDP.
They have joined forces to create In Tune With Nature - a garden to promote the work of Sistema Norwich - a charity which supports young people by inspiring them to play music together.
A 500-year-old fallen oak forms the centrepiece of a lush expanse of green, with giant gunneras standing guard.
A stream trickles past the mossy path. Above its music, children play a special composition called Rainstorm.
11-year-old Courtney Lincoln played in the orchestra and met Prince Charles.
She said: “He said that I was doing a great job and that I should be proud of myself.”
“I went to a concert a few years ago with Sistema,” said Mr Farley. “I thought they played so well, so expertly, it would be really nice to have a garden with an orchestra on it.
“It’s the first garden at Sandringham that gives you a total sensory experience.”
The royal couple stopped to speak to people in the crowds, including eight-year-old Keira Attridge and 11-year-old Natalie Attridge, from Watlington, near King’s Lynn, who came to the show with the grandmother Mary Uttin, 74.
The Duchess stopped to shake their hands, which Keira said “felt special”.
For seven-year-old Lucy Kinge, from Yaxham, it was the second meeting with Camilla - two years ago, the youngster reached over the railings to give the Duchess a hug.
“I gave her a card and she said thank you. She looked really pretty,” she said.
Leading nurseries and horticultural specialists exhibit in the show alongside display gardens, around 200 trade stands and a craft marquee.
The profits from each show are donated to local charities and since 1977 the show committee has given more than £500,000 to good causes.
The garden is now open to the public.
Did you go to the show today? Let us know what you thought by tweeting @EDP24