A WHITE rose from a rose provided the second royal visitor with a warm Yorkshire welcome fit for a princess.
Six-year-old Francesca Kottler had picked the prettiest flower for HRH The Princess Royal as she arrived in Harrogate for the second day of the Great Yorkshire Show yesterday.
Sporting her best floral frock the youngster, granddaughter of show director Bill Cowling, grinned and curtseyed the Queen’s daughter. Accepting her gift with a smile, Princess Anne popped Yorkshire’s favourite flower into her suit jacket pocket - a sure sign the region is close to her heart.
The guest of honour proved a passionate ambassador of agriculture as she toured the showground, visiting the sheep rings to wish women shearers good luck as they prepared to compete in the first-ever all-female class.
Anna Hall, aged 18, from Malton, said: “She was lovely, she asked us where we were from and seemed supportive that it’s time us girls got time to shine.”
The Princess Royal also took a keen interest in Lorraine Whitley’s Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig, bred on Birchfield Farm in Harrogate’s Summer Bridge.
Ms Whitley said: “Princess Anne keeps Gloucestershires on her estate, so she was asking us all about how many sows we have. She was really lovely.”
A family connection came to light as the princess presented the Brothers Colling Memorial Trophy for the champion beef Shorthorn, scooped by the Riby family of Fraisthorpe, near Bridlington. Among the v winners’ named etched on the piece of shining silver was her ‘Uncle Bertie’, later King Edward VIII.
After collecting his prize Geoff Riby said: “I reminded the princess her uncle had won it, I think she was pleasantly surprised. She has a genuine interest in farming in Yorkshire and it’s an honour to get royal support.”
Wife Jackie added: “We’ve shown her for 40 years. To us, this is Yorkshire. It’s the best show in England.”
Meanwhile, blue skies and sunshine brought out agricultural enthusiasts and families in their thousands.
With the soft sound of smooth jazz playing in the background, picnics on the lawn and a plentiful supply of strawberries and cream, the afternoon was a quintessential British summer time.
Applying suncream to four-year-old daughter Grace’s freckled face, show regular Alison Armitage, from Richmond, said: “We come almost every year and it has rained on us, so we feel very lucky. I packed the wellies, but I don’t think I’ll be needing them.”
The picture-perfect afternoon drew a stark contrast to the thundery weather which soaked visitors. There were few who were able to resist the temptation of an ice cream, or the urge to stop and soak up some rays.
George Fawcett, aged 76, of Haxby, had been promising wife Mary, 68, a visit for all 50 of their years marriage. He picked a perfect year to honour it.
Mr Fawcett said: “I tell her (Mary) every year I’ll take her and we’ll be coming back now we’ve finally been.
“There is something for everyone here. There is such pride in Yorkshire at the minute and this is keeping it going.”