Prince Harry delights crowds at show
GALLERY Prince Harry gave the Norfolk Show the royal seal of approval today as he delighted the sun-bathed crowds on the opening morning of the 2008 event.
PRINCE Harry gave the Norfolk Show the royal seal of approval today as he delighted the sun-bathed crowds on the opening morning of the 2008 event.
The royal guest - dressed in a dark blue suit and checked shirt and tie - was 20 minutes late but quickly made his way round the Costessey showground and wore a broad smile.
He toured the cattle rings and then was due to make his way to the food hall and countryside ring before having lunch.
The popular prince will spend a total of three hours at the showground to mark the centenary of the granting of the royal charter.
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He will also meet show president and head of the Army General Sir Richard Dannatt - the man who sent him to Afghanistan.
The presence of the royal guest certainly boosted the number of young female visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of him.
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The prince has also proved a great fillip for Army recruitment and many would-be young soldiers are also set to be inspired by him.
Hopes are high that last year's overall two-day attendance total of 92,491 visitors could be topped this year.
Weather is always a key factor to lure in the crowds and dry conditions, sunny spells and temperatures of 21-22C are expected on both days.
Early showgoers arrived quickly at the showground but police then reported heavy traffic on surrounding roads, especially the A47 in both directions.
There were hold-ups as far back as the A140 junction and many visitors were delayed in the peak arrival time of 9.30-10.30am.
Police urged people to arrive earlier on the second day to avoid congestion. Car parks quickly filled up.
As well as Prince Harry's visit today there are many other highlights in store, including the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, the RAF Falcons parachute display team, the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Bolddog Lings Freestyle Motocross.
There are more than 600 trade stands, and other attractions vary from steel bands to racing pigs to a chance to go up in a crane and look out across the showground.
Show manager Sarah de Chair said the dry build-up had been a welcome contrast to the “nightmare” conditions before last year's show.
“Things are really going well and we deserve two dry days! We have so many exciting things lined up and the show is everything that is best about Norfolk.”
She urged people who may be pondering whether to attend to “go for it.”
Mrs de Chair said she especially looked forward to the closing ceremony tomorrow evening - and urged visitors to stay on to see it.
Several elements have been laid on to honour Sir Richard. A battalion from the Light Dragoons will be marching and there will be an Apache flypast.
Officers are also urging parents to ensure their children carry their mobile phone number in case they get lost.