Princess puts the royal in Royal Norfolk Show

In the closing hours of a bustling Royal Norfolk Show, the Princess Royal enjoyed more than two hours seeing what the show had to offer and meeting exhibitors.

School children, who had escaped the classroom for the day, shrieked in delight as the special royal guest appeared during her understated stroll around the showground as she returned for the first time since she was show president 21 years ago.

She showed her countryside credentials as she chatted knowledgably to stall holders, saw prize winning animals and even dropped in to help a Norfolk brewer celebrate its 30th birthday.

The Princess Royal spent more than two hours exploring the ground, with a posy presented by 11-year-old Polly Papworth, before she took up her new post as president of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth following her father's retirement.

Stephen Letch, from Long Straw Thatching near Harleston, showed the Princess how the thatching method was done giving her a demonstration.

He said that they had discussed how long straw thatching had been reintroduced and it how it needed a big voice in the thatching world.

'She seems to know more than most about it', he said. 'What I described seemed to make perfect sense to her.'

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The Olympic equestrian medallist was keen not to disturb the judging of the Veteran Horse Olympia Qualifier Class as she took a walk through the Waveney Ring before she met young winning exhibitors in the farming area.

Tom Collison from Tilney All Saints, had been exhibiting a Shetland sheep at the show and was one of a group of exhibitors who lined up to show her their farm animals. He was also the intermediate young handlers champion.

The 16-year-old said: 'She asked me about the ram and what breed it was. We spoke to her about what sheep we had and where they came from.

'I think it is really nice to have a royal visitor. I think it is quite good for the royals to show their face. It is always nice to have a VIP.'

At the Woodforde's tent the Princess spent time chatting to the brewer about their old favourite Norfolk Nip which was originally brewed by Norwich company Steward and Patteson from 1929.

They have specially released their limited edition batch of 2,700 bottles which have been on sale in the Woodforde's brewery bar at the Royal Norfolk Show.

The princess cut a cake marking the ales' 30th birthday and seemed to be interested in the bar which has been at the Royal Norfolk Show for 10 years.

Joint managing director of Woodforde's Mike Betts said: 'She was very interested in a beer. We wanted to explain to her that this was our 30th anniversary.'

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