Royal visitor woos Sussex show crowds

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall led celebrations for the South of England Show's 50th birthday today (Friday, June 8) by getting hands on with all aspects of food and farming at the South of England Showground in Ardingly.

HRH, The Duchess Of Cornwall holds a Black Welsh Mountain Lamb. 
Picture by Scott Ramsey
HRH, The Duchess Of Cornwall holds a Black Welsh Mountain Lamb. Picture by Scott Ramsey

As President for the South of England Agricultural 2017, she toured the spectacular annual showcase of British agriculture and the countryside, which is open to the public tomorrow and Saturday (June 9 and 10).

Charlie Burgoyne, Chairman of the Society, said: “It’s an extremely special year for the Society and we were delighted that Her Royal Highness enjoyed some of the spectacular displays across the showground.”

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During her visit she met some of the farmers and their livestock, talked to local school children and students from the region’s land-based colleges, as well as officially unveiling an exciting permanent record of the Society’s achievements during the last 50 years.

The Duchess Of Cornwall visits the NFU stand at the South Of England Show. Picture Scott Ramsey

She also planted a vine to officially represent the ‘millionth vine’ planted in the UK this year with United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA), the UK wine industry’s central organisation.

This was The Duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit to the show and the 25th Royal visit the Society has hosted during the last 50 years. Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron to the charity since her first visit to the show in 1974.

The Duchess of Cornwall is committed to supporting local food producers and encouraging children to learn more about where food comes from and to eat healthily. She grew up in the countryside in the village of Plumpton, East Sussex and, at a young age, learned to ride a pony by joining her local Pony Club camps. She continues to have an enduring affection for horses and ponies and has chosen the international animal welfare charity Brooke to be the Society’s chosen charity for the year.

Gates are open on 8, 9 & 10 June from 9am-6.30pm and family and friends can take full advantage of the ticket prices again this year with under 16s going FREE (accompanied by a paying adult £21); senior citizens and students over 16 £19. There is also FREE parking and a regular bus shuttle service from Haywards Heath train station to the showground. Buy online at and save 15% off the gate entry price; offer ends midnight 7 June.