All set for a right Royal occasion

Final preparations are in full swing for one of Norfolk's most popular annual events.And there will be a special celebratory air at the Sandringham Flower Show on Wednesday, as the historic event marks its 125th anniversary,Show patron, the Prince of Wales, is expected to make his now customary visit, joined by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, for a two-hour tour of the marquees, stands and stalls.

Final preparations are in full swing for one of Norfolk's most popular annual events.

And there will be a special celebratory air at the Sandringham Flower Show on Wednesday as the historic event marks its 125th anniversary,

Show patron, the Prince of Wales, is expected to make his now customary visit, joined by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, for a two-hour tour of the marquees, stands and stalls.

The show, held against the backdrop of the Queen's private residence at Sandringham, will offer a tried and trusted blend of attractions, both traditional and modern, and is again being held in association with the EDP.

Top TV gardening presenter Chris Beardshaw will be appearing at the event for the third year running and will judge the show gardens competition with fellow horticultural expert Alan Mason.

The contest, which will feature eight specially-designed plots, was introduced in 2004 and is now a well-established part of the programme.

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Prized entries in the fruit, vegetable and flower classes will be on display in the marquees and visitors will also be able to browse around exhibits by first-class nurseries, more than 200 trade and horticultural stands, numerous charity stalls and a craft marquee.

A busy round of main arena activities will include the Utterly Butterly Barnstormers, the flying and wing-walking team which is returning to Sandringham by popular demand, as well as mediaeval jousting, a dog display team, a marching demonstration by the Minden Band of the Queen's Division and the annual Sandringham Grand Prix with customised lawnmowers.

The EDP, which already provides the best in show trophy for the gardens competition, is this year introducing a new prize for the best display by a local gardening club or society.

Another attraction will be an exhibition on the history of the show.

"I think it's a very good balance," said show chairman David Reeve. "We try to get the balance just right - and I think this year is coming together really well.

"The advance booking with the coach companies has certainly been encouraging for quite some time, so if that's an indication it looks like being a bumper show."