PICTURE GALLERY: Prince Andrew visits Wells today to learn about the offshore energy industry

People in Wells were treated to a rare royal visit today when Prince Andrew flew into the town to learn more about the offshore energy industry.

He arrived in a helicopter at the Beach Road playing field at 11.40am and was taken to Wells Field Study Centre, the temporary home of Scira Offshore Energy, the company working on the 88-turbine Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, off the north Norfolk coast.

Einar Str�msv�g, general manager of Scira, briefed Prince Andrew about Sheringham Shoal and other large wind farm developments planned for the southern North Sea, before the Duke of York proceeded to the Wells Outer Harbour to inspect one of Gardline's latest wind farm vessels.

Gardline, a leading marine sciences contractor based in Great Yarmouth, has been involved in survey projects during the construction of Sherinham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, which is almost complete.

Large crowds flocked to the Outer Harbour to see the prince, who was in jovial mood. He joked to the crowd: 'How long have you all been here? Three days?'

Diana Foster, 58, from Wells said: 'I absolutely love the royals and I don't know when we last had one in Wells so it's lovely to see Prince Andrew here.'

Mr Str�msv�g said: 'The visit by The Duke of York, who is showing such a great interest in renewable energy, is both a great honour for Scira and a boost for the industry.'

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