Duchess of Cornwall to visit South of England Show 2017
- Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
The South of England Agricultural Society has announced that the president for its 50th anniversary year, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, will visit the show on Thursday 8 June
The South of England Agricultural Society will host Her Royal Highness when she visits the South of England Show on its opening day to celebrate the charity’s 50th year of supporting agriculture and the countryside.
Charlie Burgoyne, Chairman of the Society, said: “We are honoured to welcome our President, The Duchess of Cornwall to our 50th South of England Show, which will showcase the best of British agriculture, horticulture, forestry, equestrianism, rural crafts and skills as well as delicious, local food and drink on 8, 9 and 10 June.
“It’s an extremely special year for the Society and we hope that Her Royal Highness will enjoy some of the spectacular displays that will be featured across the showground. During her visit she will meet some of the farmers and their livestock, talk to local school children and students from the region’s land-based colleges, as well as officially unveil an exciting permanent record of the Society’s achievements during the last 50 years.”
This will be 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.
Founded in 1967 the society is most famous for organising the South of England Show, which returns to their Ardingly base from 8 to 10 June. It was created from the Tunbridge Wells and South-Eastern Counties, Sussex County and Royal Counties Agricultural Societies, some of which dated back to the 1830s. These agricultural societies started life in the 18th century as a way for progressive farmers and landowners to share improvements in technology, crop husbandry and livestock breeding.
The 150-acre farm at Ardingly was bought as a base for their first show in 1967. It now hosts four annual shows as well as supporting agricultural, horticultural and land-based industry through educational grants, awards, bursaries and scholarships across Berkshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
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June’s flagship event, the South of England Show, has welcomed more than 3.5m visitors since 1967. This year will be the 50th event as the 2001 show had to be cancelled because of the foot and mouth outbreak.
Like her husband the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall is committed to supporting local food producers and encouraging children to learn more about where food comes from. She is president of Jamie’s Farm and the UK Vineyards Association.
Although she was born in London, the Duchess (née Camilla Shand), grew up Plumpton, East Sussex, attending Dumbrells School in Ditchling before moving on to Queen’s Gate School in Kensington.
As president of the society the Duchess of Cornwall has chosen Brooke, an international animal welfare charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules, as the South of England Agricultural Society’s charity of the year.
The South of England Show is at Ardingly Showground from Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 June. Tickets £21 adults, £19 concessions, under 16s free. Save 15 per cent on the gate price from www.seas.org.uk before midnight on Wednesday 7 June.