The Countess of Wessex visited Windsor to open the Royal Windsor Summer Show, accompanied by son James, yesterday.
— Nicola Hine (@nicola_hine) 15 July 2017
Set in the grounds of St George’s school, the Summer Show is run by the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticulture Society, which is one of The Queen’s patronages.
The Countess officially opened the show, alongside fashion designer David Emanuel, who lives in Windsor and famously created the wedding dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.
Sophie Countess of Wessex really interested to hear about the world’s oldest family run seed company in the world, Franchi. Pics to follow pic.twitter.com/h2f48mc22g
— Seeds of Italy-Paolo (@FranchiSeedsUK) July 15, 2017
According to the society’s chairman, Andrew Try, the organisation aims to encourage an ‘appreciation of horticulture’. The annual Summer Show allows locals with an interest in gardening, baking and photography to display their skills. This year marks the 112th summer show and is themed to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of The Queen and Prince Phillip.
Sophie and James were taken on a tour of the stalls, accompanied by Andrew Try, Alexandra Denman (show trustee) and the society’s president, Admiral Sir James Perowne. They were given the opportunity to view the competitive entries, as well as tasting some of the food on offer, with Sophie opting for fudge – although she did decline a pickled egg, claiming it was too early in the day.
The Countess chatted with Mark Tilling, who won the BBC programme ‘Bake Off Creme-de-la-Creme’ last year, and asked him for some tips on how to make a Victoria sponge cake. During the visit, Sophie and James received several gifts, including a bottle of cider and a book written by Elias Kupfermann, a local historian.
— Maureen McLean (@MomoMcLean) 15 de julio de 2017
Viscount James, who is 9, rarely accompanies his parents on official duties, and missed this year’s Trooping the Colour; it is believed he and elder sister, Louise, instead joined Sophie to celebrate her father’s birthday. The Earl and Countess of Wessex are determined that their children have as much of a normal life as possible, even declining ‘HRH’ styles for James and Louise, who are Viscount and Lady respectively.
James’ last appearance was at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, where his sister competed in carriage driving.