Thousands of people pack into Royal Estate for Sandringham Flower Show
- Credit: Ian Burt
Thousands of people packed into the Sandringham Estate to catch a glimpse of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall as they took their traditional tour of the Flower Show.
The Royal couple arrived this morning on a horse drawn carriage to claps and smiles, as the Essex Police Band played the national anthem.
Each year about 20,000 people flock to the day-long celebration of gardening and outdoor living, which is celebrataing its 135th anniversary.
The couple spent about 100 minutes touring the varied attractions, and speaking to well-wishers.
And they did not leave empty-handed after buying a toy baby elephant from Sandringham WI for £10, a hamper of jam, some strawberries, and several other items.
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WI member Ann Whiting said: 'The baby elephant took a couple of months to make. It's amazing she bought it; I'm quite flattered.'
The Prince also enjoyed a sip of Adnams' Ghost Ship pale ale, at the special Adnams'/ Nottcutts' show garden display, in association with the EDP, which was inspired by the Queen's 90th birthday.
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After asking onlookers whether it was acceptable to be imbibing before noon, he took the plunge.
'This is not a hardship,' he said. 'Does everyone get a drink here?'
Nicky Dulieu, chairman of Nottcutts and a board director of Adnams, said: 'He also admired the moss and a chrysanthemum we had named Charlotte, after his granddaughter.'
The couple were particularly delighted with the gift of a prize-winning rose from Peter Beales Roses, based in Attleborough.
And the Prince enjoyed models of the Royal Family, made by children at Flitcham Primary, School especially one of Prince Harry.
'The bust would look the same upside down,' the Prince joked.
The school's headteacher Angela Eden said: 'They are made of papier-mâché over a balloon. We've only got 70 children, so they all took part.'
Royal watcher Mary Relph gave the Duchess a bouquet of flowers.
She said: 'She knew I'd been ill and said I looked well. She sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers when I was ill.'
It was also a special day for the King's Lynn fundraising committee for Macmillan Cancer, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Two long-standing members, Gloria Fenton and Marie Jackson, were present. And it was also special for the Guide Dogs charity, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary.
Michaela Boggis, from Gresham's Jelly Cottage Plants, spent a long time talking to the couple.
She said: 'The Prince was most impressed by our hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'. They want to grow them at Highgrove House, their family home. 'He also liked our beautiful bronze metal rusted statue, which Toby Winterbourn, from North Elmham, made for us.'
One woman brought a copy of the EDP, from June 24, to show the Duchess.
Catherine Edmunds said: 'I collect cards from the Royals and they send me some. The EDP did a story on it.'
The Duchess patted Reggie, a two-year-old chihuahua on the head, much to the delight of the dog's owner, Hannah Farrier-Dutton, 27, a nurse from Dereham, who said: 'It's nice to meet them in a 'normalish' environment. It's been a really good day. She said Reggie was looking a bit fed up - he needed an ice cream.'
Samantha Moore, 32, a psychology teacher at King's Lynn Springwood High School, took sons Jensen, three tomorrow, and Carson, seven.
Mrs Moore said: 'She said that Carson had a lovely manner, and wished Jensen a happy birthday on Friday.'
Show chairman David Reeve said: 'The warmth of the crowd exceeded the warmth of the sunshine. It's an informal and beautiful occasion. As you walk with the Royal couple, the affection people have for them is palpable.'
Did you speak to the Prince or Duchess? What did they say? Email email@example.com
As you walk with the Royal couple, the affection people have for them is palpable