Baby boom: Exhibitors hope new royal arrival will boost Sandringham Flower Show
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Exhibitors at the Sandringham Flower Show are hoping the birth of the Royal baby will make this year's event the most popular yet.
As well-wishers left shoes and flowers on the Norwich Gates for the newborn ahead of Wednesday's extravaganza, gardeners arriving at the estate to prepare their showpieces were full of talk about how the arrival of Prince George would boost the show's profile.
With Prince Charles due to attend with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, exhibitors are as keen as anyone to hear whether he will offer a glimpse into how the baby is getting on and talk about life as a grandfather.
Many also believe the interest Kate and William's first child has attracted will boost attendance at the one-day event, which has been running since 1866 and usually attracts about 20,000 people.
A spokesman for the event said advance sales were good and that the warm weather was helping but would not comment on whether that could be down to the Royal baby fever which is sweeping the nation.
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However, exhibitors such as Michael Emerson, of Fakenham Garden Centre Landscape and Design, whose Modern Tranquillity garden will be in the small show garden section, agreed that the surge in interest in the Royal Family following George's birth would have a knock-on effect at the show.
And Paul Welford – whose Bridge to Success garden pays tribute to Charles's own charity, The Prince's Trust – said: 'The more people that do come, the better for the exhibitors and the better for the show, as it raises a lot of money for local charities.'
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For more on Sandringham Flower Show see our bumper 64-page supplement in today's paper.