Monday, 21 April 2014

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Visit The Royal

Jenny Dudley and The Duchess of Cambridge discussing the wonderful Australian Native competition exhibits

The last occasion a member of the Royal family visited the Show was in 1988 when the Queen was in Australia during the Bicentennial celebrations and this was to the 'old' showground at Moore Park. Once again the Show lived up to its royal name on Friday when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were warmly welcomed by President Glenn Dudley and wife Jennifer along with thousands of show goers.

First stop on the tour was the Fresh Food Dome to look at the District Exhibits and speak with some of the folk from each District. This year Northern District (our region) took out all honors in this competition and were very proud of their soft Alpaca Wool but Kate commented on the fleece for other reasons -  she suggested her husband could use some soft Alpaca wool to conceal his thinning hair! When Ms Cregan from Glen Innes revealed she used hair lacquer on the pumpkins to give them extra shine, the Duke said he would try that trick next Halloween. Hundreds watched the couple move through the hall, viewing exhibits from producers from across NSW and South East Queensland. The displays are the largest of their kind in the world, with more than 10,000 fresh pieces of produce included in their displays. These exhibits are always on the agenda of most people who visit the show as they are always so spectacular and this year is no exception.

The new Southee and Badgery Pavilion, home to the Show's Arts & Crafts, Fashion & Style and Flower & Garden Show saw them unveil the plaque on this brand new 10,000 square metre exhibition facility. In the Flower & Garden Show the Duchess was presented with a posy of Australian Natives made by past Chair of Horticulture, Cecily Rogers and presented by Horticulture Chair, Marianne Paynter. The Royal couple were 'blown away' by the beautiful, colourful exhibits of Australian Flora. There were twelve classes of Australian Native competitions as well as competitions for Bonsai, Carnivorous Plants, Dahlias and Decorative on Friday. 

How could one go to the show and not see any animals? The final stop was the Cox Pavilion for Sheep & Wool where Catherine met the 2013 winner of Wool4Skool, Sophie Alyward, who showcased her winning wool design. Here they met Fred the six year old ram whose fleece went into a suit that was presented to the Duke on the occasion of his wedding. Fred stole the show however, when he bowed to the Duchess - all that practice paid off!

They didn't however, have time to pick up a Bertie Beetle showbag for George......

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