PRINCE Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were treated to a spontaneous rendition of Jerusalem as they toured the 130th Sandringham Flower Show.
The Prince of Wales drew his hands up to conduct the chorus of giggling Women’s Institute (WI) members who launched into song during the couple’s traditional meeting with show exhibitors and visitors.
Crowds five or six people deep lined the couple’s hour-and-a-half route between show marquees and many got to speak to them and shake their hands.
Sue, 64, and Mike Sexton, 68, of North Lynn, spoke to Charles and Camilla in turn.
Mrs Sexton said: “Camilla came straight across to us and asked if we were enjoying the show.”
The Royal couple arrived at Wednesday’s overcast but dry show at 11am in an open horse drawn carriage to the sounds of The Minden Band of the Queen’s Division.
Ingoldisthorpe Primary School pupil five-year-old Betti Butler, of Dersingham, won a draw to welcome the Duchess by presenting her with a posy.
Betti’s mother Ruth said: “She has been practising her coutsey but forgot to do it!”
Mrs Butler said the duchess laughingly scuffed her daughter on the head with the flowers as she passed by.
For the second year, actress Dame Maggie Smith, star of the Harry Potter film series and Downton Abbey, was among invited guests who joined the couple on their visit.
She said: “It’s so quintisentailly English.”
Clad in a Paddy Campbell teal patterned dress and waist-length fitted jacket, Camilla was handed a card for her recent birthday from one of the crowd on her arrival and remarked: “Thank you, I was trying to forget about that!”
Within the Royal Marquee a knitted interpretation of the Royal party at Prince William’s wedding, made by Barbara Frary, of Fakenham, caught the interest of the entourage.
Show judge Sue Elliott, also from Fakenham, said: “They were impressed to see all the Duke’s medals were correct.”
Visiting on a coach trip from Caldicott, Cambs, WI president Hazel Steel and a group of her members decided a verse of Jerusalem was just what the couple needed to lift their spirits toward the end of their meet and greet.
By then the pair had come face-to-face with a team from Snettisham’s Tapping House Hospice, dressed as pirates to promote their next big fundraiser, bought cakes and tickets for a raffle - with prizes donated by the Royal household - from the Sandringham WI stand and met with members of the Lynn arm of the National Osteoporosis Society, of which Camilla is president.
O PLEASE CLICK UNDER MULTIMEDIA LINKS TO THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS STORY TO SEE PICTURES FROM THE DAY.