Prince Harry attracted a huge crowd at the Suffolk Show yesterday who followed his every move with their mobile phones held high.
During a speech, the prince, who flew helicopters from Wattisham Airfield before moving to a desk job in London, praised the county and its people, saying he was smitten with the area.
“I had the pleasure of flying Her Majesty’s Apaches through these skies,” he said. He thanked the people who had him buzzing over them and their animals for their generosity of spirit.
And he spoke of the sacrifice made by the soldiers of the Suffolk Regiment in the First World War.
The prince is the 30th royal to plant a tree at the site - his mother Princess Diana visited in 1986
Thousands flocked to the 183rd annual Suffolk Show.
Despite grey skies and the threat of rain looming, the show, on Wednesday and Thursday, was as busy as ever.
Speaking on the opening day, Show Director Bill Baker said his team had faced a difficult challenge getting the event up and running.
“We are really excited with how it is going and the weather has fortunately relented,” he said.
“We had a tricky day setting up the show with the heavy rainfall yesterday - it was a test even for us. But we are very much open for business and with some sensible footwear we are all systems go.”
Bill said this year’s event was aimed at bringing in the youngsters, with the show offering free admission for under 14s for the first time and a new area aimed to get children interested in farming and food production.
He said: “We are currently standing in our new feature, the Farm Discovery Zone, which has been very well received.
“We have a hatchery where children can hold a chick, we have young calves and other farm animals from Easton Farm Park, kids can help cook pizza in our pizza oven and sit in modern farm machinery.
“It has been a very popular attraction.”
The event’s show rings featured a packed roster of competitions and animal demonstrations with the heavy horse and the Shetland Pony Grand National among the stars of the show.