Prince William and Kate Middleton in Norfolk - picture special

A beaming Prince William and his new fiancee Kate Middleton breezed into Norfolk last night to enjoy a memorable fundraising evening watching the county's largest Christmas attraction.

On his first official engagement in the county, the prince watched a gala charity performance of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular and attended a special reception in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

He was accompanied by his new fiancee, to the delight of the watching show-goers and the nation's media, who waited in freezing temperatures for a glimpse of the couple arriving at the show venue, near Fakenham.

On their first public appearance together since announcing their engagement last month, the couple were clearly in relaxed mood as they greeted the crowds.

Both were dressed to impress rather than equipped for the sub-zero chill, so they made their way inside at a brisk pace – Miss Middleton in a knee-length white and black dress, and Prince William in a sharp suit and festive red tie.

The prince waved and shouted enthusiastic hellos to the crowd – even flashing a 'very nice hats!' compliment to a delighted bunch of giggling young Thursford elves waiting by the barriers.

After meeting his guest of honour at the gate, the Thursford show's director and founder, John Cushing, said: 'It is a huge honour to have them here, supporting such a worthy cause. They obviously love it in Norfolk and they loved seeing the show.'

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Prince William was invited to the event by Emilie van Cutsem, chairman of Teenage Cancer Trust East Anglia's Appeal, and also a close friend of the Royal family.

During the interval, he met five young cancer patients from Norfolk to discuss their fundraising achievements.

Proceeds from the evening will go towards the construction of the first specialist cancer unit for young people at Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge, which will cost �2.5m to complete.

After the show, Prince William led a standing ovation before going backstage to greet the 130-strong cast of professional singers, dancers and musicians who performed in the �3m production.

?For full coverage of the Royal visit, see tomorrow's EDP. For more photos, see EDP24 tomorrow.