The Prince of Wales has made a surprise visit to the Royal Norfolk Show.

News of his arrival was kept a closely guarded secret and showgoers were delighted as he walked across the Norfolk Showground.

It was the first time Prince William had visited the show, although he has very close links to the county including a home at Anmer.

Eastern Daily Press: Prince William talking to Scouts at the Royal Norfolk ShowPrince William talking to Scouts at the Royal Norfolk Show (Image: Ian Clarke)

Eastern Daily Press: Prince William at the Royal Norfolk Show 2023Prince William at the Royal Norfolk Show 2023 (Image: Denise Bradley)

The prince’s arrival was delayed due to the rain.

He was greeted by dignitaries and he spent about 75 minutes at the showground.

Prince William met young people from local organisations, representatives of charities and members of the county’s emergency services.

READ MORE: Live traffic updates as thousands of people travel to Royal Norfolk Show

He also presented a special royal goat prize.

Royal Norfolk Show president John Cushing said it was a "real honour" to welcome his "good friend" the Prince of Wales to this summer's event. 

The Thursford impresario has a long association with Prince William, who presented him with his OBE in 2020 and has made several visits to Mr Cushing's Thursford Christmas Spectacular, in north Norfolk - including his first public appearance following his engagement to Kate Middleton in 2010.

Mr Cushing said: "It is a real honour to have him here today," he said. "It is good for Norfolk, and good for the show. It has put the icing on the cake.

"I asked him originally way back, five months ago. He has been to Thursford many, many times, and I feel he has done this for me somehow, and my wife Barbara, because we are good friends. 

"I had to get used to calling him Your Royal Highness because I have always called him William, and he has always called me John."


Among the charities he met was the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), for which his wife the Princess of Wales is royal patron.

The visit comes in a busy week for the prince, who has been on a UK tour to promote his major anti-homelessness project.

Eastern Daily Press: Prince William talking to a member of the St John Ambulance at the Royal Norfolk ShowPrince William talking to a member of the St John Ambulance at the Royal Norfolk Show (Image: Denise Bradley)

He has visited all four home nations to highlight Homewards, an ambitious five-year project to end homelessness in six locations.

The Prince has set his sights on making rough sleeping, sofa surfing and other forms of temporary accommodation a thing of the past, as he tries to emulate Finland, where the problem has been virtually eradicated, with his initiative.

The five-year project will initially focus on six locations where businesses, local authorities and organisations will be encouraged to join forces and develop “bespoke” action plans to tackle homelessness, with up to £500,000 in funding.